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Case Study - English Heritage

Organisation : English Heritage

Application : There are no Building Use Categories.

Product : Toilet Blocks

Location : Stonehenge

Requirement :

The existing visitor toilets at the world-renowned Stonehenge heritage site were in urgent need of an upgrade before the peak visitor season began. The site is English Heritage’s flagship attraction, drawing in more than 900,000 visitors each year, so the new toilets needed to be of the highest quality. What’s more, as the main toilets on site, they had to be replaced quickly so that visitors weren’t left with limited facilities for long. The new toilet supplier needed to be able to guarantee delivery right on schedule and to install the buildings sensitively on this historic site where access was limited.

Solution :

Morgan Cowles, Buildings Technical Manager of the English Heritage Estates team, says: “Because of the large number of visitors to this high-profile site, we needed new toilets that were extremely durable, easy to keep clean and had a high-quality finish. We knew Portaloo were the market leaders in this field, so they were the obvious supplier to contact."

The Stonehenge toilet facilities were housed in an enclosed compound, so the space available was very limited. After surveying the site, Portaloo proposed three new toilet buildings, including a disabled persons’ unit and two 28-foot toilet blocks, one male and one female. These buildings had to be specially adapted by Portaloo at the manufacturing stage to ensure that external door positions and internal layouts suited the specific dimensions and configuration of theStonehenge compound.

To minimise disruption to visitors, the new toilets had to be installed as quickly as possible. Portaloo managed the entire removal and installation process in just four days. The old toilets were removed on day one and the new Portaloo facilities were carefully craned into position on day two. The remaining two days were spent connecting to services, fitting out and putting the finishing touches to the buildings.

A full Portaloo project team stayed on site for the entire installation to ensure it ran smoothly and to schedule. It meant that when issues were discovered with on-site water pressure, Portaloo was quickly able to resolve the situation by changing the flushing mechanisms on the toilets.

Stuart Maughan, Head of Visitor Operations atStonehenge, says: “The new toilets provide a much-improved visitor experience. The external appearance enhances the site, and inside the quality of the taps, sinks and toilets has resulted in fewer closures of the toilets for reactive maintenance, which had previously been a major issue. Many of our tour guides and regular visitors have commented on the vast improvement in the facilities, and the new buildings are holding up well under the pressure of visitor numbers.”

English Heritage chose to hire its new toilets on a long-term contract, giving it the flexibility to alter its requirements in future, and enjoying the back-up of locally based Portaloo servicing teams in the event of any refurbishment or repair requirements.

Morgan Cowles adds: “We’re keen to maintain these facilities in the best possible condition for as long as possible, so we also asked Portaloo to include a comprehensive maintenance package for any necessary repairs so that we can continue to provide a high standard of amenities for our visitors.”

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