Flush with success: Marks & Spencer throws open toilet doors for Richmond ‘Spend a Penny’ scheme

Richmond is set to be flush with £85,000 a year as businesses back a scheme to open their toilets to shoppers and residents caught short.

An increasingly popular community toilet scheme is set to flush £85,000 a year into Richmond after more and more businesses get on board.

High street giant Marks & Spencer became the most recent addition to the innovative programme, which offers businesses up to £1,200 to open their toilets to the community last week.

The scheme, launched online in August under the name ‘Spend a Penny,’ allows Richmond’s residents and visitors to use local business’ restrooms.

Councillor Pamela Fleming, Richmond Council’s cabinet member for business, said: “The businesses of Richmond are really getting behind the Spend a Penny scheme, and it is great for us to have some of the larger companies on the high street such as Marks & Spencer wanting to take part.”

The scheme’s site also offers visitors Richmond Card business deals encouraging customers to spend their actual pennies when they go to ‘spend a penny’.

Richmond’s M&S joined the scheme following a refurbishment of their in-store bathrooms, bringing the count of participating businesses up to 110.

Councillor Fleming joined Samantha Deller, store manager at Marks & Spencer Richmond, to cut the ribbon to re-open the new facilities to the public last Thursday.

Ms Deller said: “Marks & Spencer are a business that likes to get involved in their local community, and when we agreed to join the scheme we wanted to ensure our facilities were synonymous with the quality our customers expect throughout our store.”

The scheme was part of the council’s plans to provide ongoing support for local businesses in the lead up to and during the rugby world cup.

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