Funding secured for new accessible toilet facilities
04 Feb 2023
The council has secured over £200,000 in Government funding for improved accessible toilet facilities.
It was awarded the full £202,600 it applied for from the Government’s Changing Places fund – for special facilities for those with additional needs.
The funding will complement the wider County Council investment of £1.35m in a three-year programme of works to improve the standard of all of the 54 public toilets in the county for which it has responsibility.
In Northumberland the new funding will support:
- a new Changing Places facility at Druridge Bay Country Park
- a new Changing Places facility at the Woolmarket in Berwick to replace the old single unisex toilet facility there
- a new publically accessible Changing Places facility in the shop at Alnwick Gardens
Designed for those who struggle to use standard accessible toilets, these new state-of-the-art facilities come with additional equipment such as hoists, adult sized changing benches and space for carers.
They are targeted at areas where they are most needed such as parks, shopping centres and train stations with little to no access facilities.
The announcement brings the amount of funding awarded under the government’s Changing Places scheme to £30.5 million. The scheme is providing more than 600 new facilities, bringing the total of Changing Places toilets across England to 1,900.
Levelling Up Minister Dehenna Davison, said: Everyone deserves to have the freedom to enjoy their local communities – without the fear of whether or not they’re going to be able to access the facilities they need.
“Today’s funding will see 120 new Changing Places toilets in places where they are most needed, helping ensure disabled people and their carers can go about their lives with dignity.”
Councillor John Riddle, Cabinet Member for Local Services at the County Council, said: “This is great news and will provide much improved facilities in some of our popular tourist areas.
“We know how important good toilet facilities are for residents and visitors and these Changing Places facilities will be so useful for those with additional needs.
“This funding, which takes our investment to over £1.5m, will further enhance our major improvement programme to scores of public toilets across the county.”
The Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, said: “As both a minister and a local MP I have called for more accessible toilets after hearing from parents of disabled children about the difficulties they have faced.
“I’m proud that this government has approved over 500 of these new facilities in shopping centres, supermarkets and sports venues.
“Today we are going further, with over £7 million to target areas that need support to install more accessible toilets. The money will help ensure that every family is able to have a day out with dignity and confidence”