Victoria Park arts centre centre swamped by people needing loo

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SIGNS will be improved in a Portsmouth park after complaints an arts centre was being stretched to the limit by people needing to visit the loo.

Public toilets in Victoria Park closed five years ago amid the demolition of the swimming pool to make way for the university’s Blade building.

But since then the Lodge Arts Centre has been the only public toilet in the park.

Mark Lewis, founder and director of the arts centre, told a city council meeting it was unfair for him to have to provide and maintain the park’s only toilet.

More than 1,000 people signed a petition to reinstate toilets in the park.

He said: ‘Five years is a long time to put up with this.

‘On a sunny day there are 500 people in that park and there are 500 people wanting to use the loo.’

Councillor Mike Hancock, who is in charge of planning and regeneration, said: ‘The city council recognises there are also public toilets in Guildhall Square less than 100 yards from the park.

‘But it also recognises that the city can do more to signpost publicly accessible toilets and will therefore look to erect signs to direct users to the toilets in Guildhall Square and at the Lodge.’

Cllr Hancock added: ‘The city council will seek to work with the university on plans for the new Blade building at Victoria Park so that any plans for a new cafe include publicly accessible toilets including disabled accessibility.’