HARD work by a group of villagers has paid off after public toilets in Salterforth reopened.

"We've officially re-opened the toilets," said Jeff Tipler, chairman of the Salterforth Toilet Group, which was formed with the sole purpose of reopening the toilets. "We're back up and running, which is a little bit unique. Normally when a toilet block closes in Pendle, it doesn't open again."

"It's been over 12 months ago since cutbacks forced the local council to close the Salterforth village toilets," he said. "Things have changed now and the village toilets were re-opened just in time for Salterforth Fun Day."

Mr Tipler said: "We originally went to the Salterforth Parish Council who listened to our idea and were very supportive in helping us obtain the toilets from Pendle Council.

"We then had a lot of work to do, fundraising was a priority with local companies making donations to get the project off the ground.

"With the toilets being shut for such a long length of time a thorough clean was needed. This was done by volunteers.

"Then all the electrics and plumbing needed to be looked at and brought up to working standard," said Mr Tippler. "Without the help and donation of time from SPN Electrical Ltd and Pennine Mechanical Engineers the project would have struggled to get off the ground.

"We wish to thank all local businesses who have made donations and the volunteers who have offered their time helping with this project," said Mr Tipler. "Without them the re-opening would not have been possible."

Although the Salterforth Toilet Group raised £850 themselves, significant funding is still needed to guarantee the future running and maintenance costs.

The toilet group received a big boost when the West Craven Area Committee recently awarded the group £750 towards the toilet's upkeep and maintenance costs.

"We thought this would make it a little bit easier to keep them open," said Cllr Ken Hartley, vice chairman of the West Craven Area Committee.

He said as Salterforth was in the Earby ward, it was agreed to give the group £500 from Earby's capital programme funding pot. Another £250 was awarded from Barnoldswick's pot of money.

Cllr Hartley explained: "Although Barnoldswick ward does not have direct responsibility, we felt sympathetically for Barnoldswick walkers who would be going through the village, so we decided to contribute £250."

To make a donation or give advice to the group on how to raise more money, ring treasurer Andy Fitton on 01282 816456.