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£30 million investment to provide Changing Places toilets

We’re delighted that the results of applications for a share of the funding from Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities have been announced.

investment

£23.5m worth of the funding has been allocated across 191 councils and will see 513 new Changing Places toilets installed in public places and tourist attractions across England, meaning toilet accessibility for those who need Changing Places toilets will be vastly improved in these areas.

The remaining £6.5m of the fund will be allocated to local councils in a further round later this year and will focus on areas where there is little or no Changing Places toilet provision.

Ministerial Disability Champion Eddie Hughes MP said:

“People with severe disabilities and their families or carers should not have to think about whether there are suitable toilet facilities when they go out shopping, plan a day out or travel.“

“That is why it is great to hear that our funding will help provide over 500 new Changing Places Toilets in England enabling them to go about day-to-day activities like the rest of the population with more dignity and freedom.“

There are currently just over 1,300 registered Changing Places toilets in England, and today’s package will bring that figure to more than 1,800.

These larger, accessible toilets are for people who cannot use standard accessible toilets. They include specialist equipment such as hoists, curtains, adult-sized changing benches, and space for carers.

New facilities will now be built in the following venues:

  • Public parks and open spaces
  • Tourist attractions including historic properties, seaside resorts and zoos
  • Cathedrals
  • Museums, theatres and galleries
  • Shopping malls
  • Libraries and public buildings
Sarah Rennie, a Changing Places campaigner from Birmingham said:

“I can’tuse typical accessible toilets because, without a hoist or changing bench, I can’t get from my wheelchair onto the toilet. This means that all too often, if I'm working in another city, attending a hospital appointment or going to a festival, I can expect to wait 12 hours without accessing a toilet. This can make me feel ill and be quite painful. Changing Places toilets offer me - and my assistant - a safe and dignified alternative. It’s such a relief to know that there will be more of these throughout England which gives me a better chance to find a loo I can use and go about my day like everyone else.“

As co-chairs of the Changing Places consortium, MDUK has been heavily involved throughout this process. The charity will be providing specialist expertise to support local councils that are awarded funding. This expertise will include:

  • Dedicated advice and information via the Changing Places officers to support councils
  • Changing Places Practical Guide and informative Specialist Training sessions
  • Connecting authorities and facilitating a collaborative network of support
  • Signposting to suppliers and installation companies
Robert Burley, Director of Care, Communications and Support at MDUK, said:

“We’ve provided specialist support to the Levelling Up department throughout this process and we’re really pleased that local authorities will soon be told the outcome of their application. We look forward to supporting councils that have been awarded the funding with their Changing Places toilet installations, because they really do make a world of difference to those who depend on them.”

For the full list of Local Authorities that have been awarded funding in this round, please visit the DLUHC website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/changing-places-fund-allocation-of-funding-following-round-1-assessment

The National Disability Strategy launched on 28th July 2021 marked the first collective cross-government endeavour to transform disabled people`s everyday lives.

The strategy contains dozens of policy commitments across government departments and sets out immediate practical steps - from making playgrounds more inclusive to building more accessible homes - to improve disabled people’s everyday lives, as well as signalling more work to be done with a launch of a new data project by the Disability Unit.

To find out more please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-disability-strategy