Government announces £30m funding for more Changing Places toilets in England
More than 250,000 disabled people in the country will benefit from greater access to life-enhancing Changing Places toilets, as the government announces a new £30 million fund to increase the number of facilities across England.
Announced today by Regional Growth Minister Luke Hall, the move follows changes to statutory guidance that came into effect from January 2021 that made the provision of Changing Places toilets compulsory in certain new buildings.
Changing Places toilets are larger accessible toilets for people who cannot use standard disabled toilets, with equipment such as hoists, curtains, adult-sized changing benches and space for carers.
The combination of the updated statutory guidance and today’s investment for existing buildings means thousands of people with complex needs will have greater access to public places.
Regional Growth Minister Luke Hall MP said: “For too long, the lack of suitable toilet facilities has meant disabled people have faced major difficulties when they shop, go out, or travel and this should not be the case.
“That’s why the provision of Changing Places toilets is so important for people who cannot use standard accessible toilets.
“This programme is a significant investment from government that will help bring major, life enhancing freedoms to those people who have specific needs.”
Kerry Thompson, a campaigner for Changing Places, commented that the biggest challenge she faces when going anywhere outside her home is locating a Changing Places facility.
“They really do make a world of difference when planning days out so today’s announcement will open up a whole new world for the hundreds of thousands of people who rely on them.
“Knowing I have access to a Changing Places toilet lets me enjoy myself without having to worry about finding an accessible facility that can accommodate my needs.
“The additional funding from the government to improve facilities in existing buildings across England will give me and my husband the freedom that so many disabled people are desperate for.”
The programme will be delivered in partnership with the charity Muscular Dystrophy UK, co-chairs of the Changing Places Consortium, who will provide advice to support councils in their delivery.
Councils will be invited to “opt in” to bid for a proportion of the £30 million funding so they can install facilities in their communities and boost the number of Changing Places toilets in existing buildings, for example leisure and sports, cinemas, and arts and tourism venues.
This will improve the geographical spread across England and ensure more disabled people can take part in everyday activities that have the greatest impact on their quality of life.
There are currently around 1,200 registered Changing Places toilets in England, including in branches of Tesco but provision needs to increase quickly to improve access for people who cannot use standard accessible toilets and their carers.https://thiis.co.uk/government-announces-30m-funding-for-more-changing-places-toilets-in-england/https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/changing-places-960-x-640.jpg?fit=900%2C600&ssl=1https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/changing-places-960-x-640.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Government & Local AuthoritiesInvestments & FundingNewsroomSector NewsThird Sector£30 million,accessible,changing places,funding,Government,toiletsMore than 250,000 disabled people in the country will benefit from greater access to life-enhancing Changing Places toilets, as the government announces a new £30 million fund to increase the number of facilities across England. Announced today by Regional Growth Minister Luke Hall, the move follows changes to statutory guidance...Liane McIvorLiane McIvorliane@thiis.co.ukAdministratorTHIIS Magazine