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Brooksby's Walk - Solar Powered Public Toilet

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We are delighted to have been involved with an inspiring project that is about to open in Clapton, east London. On November 7th 2013, the UK’s first solar powered luxury, mixed use public toilets will be unveiled on Brooksby’s Walk, just off Chatsworth Road. Athena Electrical have supplied and installed a 3.84kWp solar panel configuration on top of the public convenience, which will not only supply renewable energy to the toilets, but to the café/bar/restaurant which will also be making its home in the building.

The whole pioneering project has been spearheaded by the ‘Clapton Improvement Society’, a growing band of locals intent on bringing derelict land and buildings back in to use, creating educational opportunities for disadvantaged people, providing cultural and creative activities and building assets that will prosper the community. They currently have 1,200 members.

The toilets themselves had been derelict for almost 20 years, and when Hackney Council submitted an application to have them demolished, it was opposed by the Clapton Improvement Society. They collected hundreds of signatures on their petition, suggesting instead that the area would benefit from some well-maintained public toilets, operated and looked after by locals, according to a sustainable plan. Eventually, a lease was negotiated with the Council, and after securing a conditional Lottery award for the solar panels and 4 months of hard work from an array of local electricians, builders, plumbers and carpenters, the toilets are almost ready to open. The toilets themselves will flush using rainwater collected from the roof.

Aside from the toilets, you’ll be able to sit down and grab a tasty treat from ‘The Convenience’, a community café run by Nana; enthusiastic older ladies keen to serve up nostalgic treats from your childhood. The café will also host regular ‘events in the gents’ such as film screenings and gigs, and if that isn’t enough, the old toilet comes complete with its own roof terrace.

Not happy to rest on their laurels, the Clapton Improvement Society already have their sights set on building a Hydro Turbine on the River Lea which they hope to finance through a crowd-funding campaign supported by local residents. If all goes to plan, the money recouped through generating their own renewable energy will go straight back in to making further improvements in Clapton.

For now though, we’re looking forward to the opening of the Brooksby’s Walk toilets on November 7th.

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