Venues can open their doors to a wider range of people by improving their accessible facilities- and have the cost match funded by the Government.
A £30m Changing Places Fund has been announced as part of the 2020 Budget, to potentially double the national network of these specialist assisted accessible toilets. It will help thousands of venues improve their ability to accommodate disabled customers,’ specific requirements, ahead of new Building Regulations set to be instituted towards the end of the year.
Leading Changing Places provider Closomat has welcomed the news:
“Without Changing Places toilets, many of the 11million disabled people in Britain cannot do those everyday things of normal life- shopping, going out, travelling- that involve spending time away from home,” explains Closomat away from home project manager Kelvin Grimes.
“Most of us assume wherever we go, we will be able to find a suitable WC if we need. If you need any help to ‘go’, be it from carer(s) or equipment, that is not the case. It means often you just don’t go out.”
Under British Standards (BS8300:2018), a Changing Places should include a peninsular WC, full room cover ceiling track hoist, adult-sized height adjustable changing bed, washbasin and privacy screen. The Standard also notes it is helpful to include a wash dry toilet in place of a conventional WC, as this further enhances a person’s dignity and independence.
“Sector-specific funding from the Government for Changing Places has included the upgrade from conventional WC to a wash dry toilet,” adds Kelvin Grimes. “It therefore makes sense, if making the investment in such a facility, to open it to as many people as possible and provide the best available specification. We know venues report increased visitor traffic (and spend) when they provide a Changing Places, and even that people specifically visit because the venue has such a facility.”
A typical Changing Places supplied and installed by Closomat costs on average less than £15,000. On that basis, the new Government funding will cover potentially 2000 more Changing Places- approximately doubling the current number.
Closomat is unique in its in-house ability to provide design advice, supply, install, commission, and subsequently service & maintain Changing Places toilets, whether standard or full-specification versions.
Check out our Changing Places section, and our resources (away from home section).