Changing Places - Scotland - Innova - Scootish Gallery of Modern Art
A recent Changing Places installation at the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art, carried out by Innova Care Concepts

New building rules in England, effective from next year, will require new public buildings to install Changing Places toilets for disabled people, which presents a big opportunity for suppliers and installers of these facilities.

Changing Places toilets are larger accessible toilets for disabled people, with specialist equipment such as hoists, curtains, adult-sized changing benches, and space for wheelchair users and carers.

Without these vital accessible toilets, disabled people are often forced to be laid on unhygienic floors, restrict their fluid intake when out and about to avoid going to the toilet, or feel unable to leave their homes, leaving them feeling isolated and unable to participate in activities.

Now, the UK Government has announced that the new building rules will require thousands of large (12m2) accessible toilet facilities to be designed and built into new public buildings, from next year onwards.

Advertisement | Continue story below

The government estimates it will add the toilets to more than 150 new buildings a year, which is set to help more than 250,000 severely disabled people across England.

Building Accessibility Minister Lord Greenhalgh said: “For too long, the lack of Changing Places toilets has meant that severely disabled people have faced severe difficulties in attending public places.

“Changing Places toilets give disabled people and their carers the space and equipment they need to have the confidence to leave their homes and go out.

“We are making the installation of these toilets compulsory in hundreds of new public buildings in years to come to help bring major, life enhancing freedoms to the more than 250,000 people who need them.”

The decision to make Changing Places toilets mandatory in new public building, as well as majorly refurbished large public buildings, was announced in the 2020 Budget back in March. However, this latest government announcement has emphasised that it remains committed to this policy, but has also outlined some further, more specific details about the types of buildings required to install these facilities.

Places of assembly, recreation and entertainment with a capacity for 350 or more people will be required to install Changing Places toilets if they are newly built or have a major refurbishment.

Shopping centres or retail parks with gross floor areas of 30,000m2 or more, retail premises of 2,500m2 or more, sport or leisure buildings over 5,000m2, and stadia, theme parks, zoos, or exhibition centres with a capacity above 2,000 people will be also included in the rules.

Other public venues included in the new building rules cover arts venues, cinemas, universities, libraries, places of worship, motorway services and museums.

In addition, the Department for Transport (DfT), in partnership with Muscular Dystrophy UK, has also announced £1.27 million to install 37 more Changing Places at service stations across England. These new facilities will give people with complex needs, and their carers, the confidence and freedom to make more journeys by road as coronavirus restrictions ease.

With this latest round of funding, 87 of England’s 118 service stations will be set to have a fully accessible Changing Places toilet in the early 2020s.

This investment is part of the government’s Inclusive Transport Strategy, which aims to provide equal access to transport by 2030, with assistance if physical infrastructure remains a barrier.

Transport Accessibility Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “It is hard to overstate the importance of something as simple as an accessible area for the over 250,000 people nationwide who have a severe disability.

“I want everyone to have the confidence to travel by any means so it is incredibly important for us to work with Muscular Dystrophy UK to provide Changing Places facilities at the majority of service stations in England.”

As well as the new building rules, which will be effective from next year, in the 2020 Budget, Chancellor Rishi Sunak MP also committed a £30 million investment to increase access to Changing Places toilets.

The new Changing Places Fund will see the Government match-fund the costs of installing the facilities into existing buildings in England.

https://i1.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Changing-Places-Scotland-Innova-Scootish-Gallery-of-Modern-Art.jpg?fit=900%2C538&ssl=1https://i1.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Changing-Places-Scotland-Innova-Scootish-Gallery-of-Modern-Art.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Sarah SarsbyGovernment & Local AuthoritiesNewsroomSector News2020 Budget,accessible toilets,building rules,changing places,Changing Places Fund,Changing Places installer,Changing Places supplier,Department for Transport,Muscular Dystrophy UKNew building rules in England, effective from next year, will require new public buildings to install Changing Places toilets for disabled people, which presents a big opportunity for suppliers and installers of these facilities.Changing Places toilets are larger accessible toilets for disabled people, with specialist equipment such as hoists,...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals