PUBS, shopping centres and national parks are among those with the highest-rated public facilities in the region, as the winners of the Loo of the Year Awards have been announced.

All of the public toilets in North Yorkshire's national parks were recognised for their 'away-from-home' facilities in the annual competition which grades toilets as silver, gold, platinum or diamond .

Also included in the winners of a Loo of the Year accolade were the Cornmill Shopping Centre, in Darlington, Teesside Park's public toilets and Hill Street shopping centre in Middlesbrough.

Two Darlington Wetherspoons pubs, The Tanners Hall on Skinnergate and The William Stead on Crown Street, were both awarded a platinum rating by inspectors.

While a third Wetherspoons in Guisborough, The Ironstone Miner in Westgate, also won platinum.

The Loo of the Year awards are aimed at highlighting and improving standards of public toilet provision across the UK.

Inspectors make unannounced visits to thousands of toilets at sites across the UK, where they are judged against numerous criteria, including décor and maintenance, cleanliness, accessibility, hand washing and drying equipment and overall management.

The criteria is considered the ‘washroom standard’ and a Loo of the Year Award is an established benchmark of washroom provision and compliance to national standards.

National and UK and Ireland Awards are presented at a prestigious and fun daytime presentation Event at the beginning of December, with the event held at St Johns Hotel in Solihull on December 6.

The William Stead manager, Lee Broadley, said: "We are delighted with the award. Staff at the pub ensure the toilets are in first-class condition at all times and it is great that this has been recognised by the inspectors."

The Loo of the Year Awards 2019 managing director, Mike Bone, said: "The toilets at these pubs have been designed and fitted out to a very high standard and are all clean and well-maintained."