Bradford is one of the leading cities for the provision of Changing Places toilets in the UK. There are now Changing Places toilets in 9 venues across the city.
- Bowling Pool
- Thornton Recreation Centre
- Keighley Leisure Centre
- Eccleshill Pool
- Ilkley Pool & Lido
- University of Bradford
- Carlisle Business Centre
- Mind the Gap Studios
Bradford City Council has been responsible for installing almost all of these and it has plans to install more in the future, including one at the Westfield Shopping Centre.
The Council is looking at ways of seeing how Changing Places toilets can be provided in some of Bradford’s key tourist areas.It is also looking at developing planning policy to encourage future developments to include Changing Places toilets.
Bradford City Council wanted to make a difference
Bradford City Council was motivated to install Changing Places toilets after members of the Council’s Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) Team saw the Changing Places video clips which show why Changing Places toilets are needed.
The Council took on board that whilst most people can take for granted that wherever they are in the district there is a facility that meets their needs, for a significant minority this is not the case.
The Council hopes that their commercial and service partners will follow their lead and do what they can to improve their own facilities so that many families, disabled people and their carers have a much more dignified experience outside of their own homes.
Bradford City Council’s work to install Changing Places toilets has been co-ordinated through the Access to Buildings sub group in partnership with Service Providers (Leisure Services, Libraries). User involvement has come through the Building Consultation group which meets to discuss building related access issues.
The issues that had to be overcome
Most of the installations were incorporated as part of larger refurbishment where often space and cost dictated what was feasible. The Council found a number of design changes had to be made along the way. As they learnt more about the needs of the client group they tried to improve on the design of the next Changing Places toilet they were installing in a venue. The drainage system is something they learnt needs to be addressed carefully. They also found there is often a trade off between the amount of circulation space and the amount of equipment to be installed.
The Changing Places toilets were largely funded through Bradford City Council’s Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) budget and which has delivered a number of access improvements. Contributions from service departments ensured a partnership approach.
Making a difference
Feedback about the provision of Changing Places toilets in Bradford has been very positive. The Council also knows that a number of people are now travelling from outside the district to use the facilities in Bradford – where they know their needs can be met. This means that there has been an immediate commercial payback to Bradford City Council for installing them.
Bradford Council now aims to take a lead role in developing a regional campaign across Yorkshire & Humberside.