Cotswolds allocated £162k for state-of-the-art accessible toilets

FOUR state-of-the-art accessible toilets are set to be installed in the Cotswolds after the council was allocated £162,500 of a £23.5 million investment in the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s spring statement.

The toilets, called changing places toilets after a campaign which started in 2005, are intended for people with a range of disabilities and contain adult-sized changing benches, curtains, hoists and space for carers.

The new facilities will be located in the abbey grounds at Cirencester, and at Somerford Keynes, Bourton on the Water and Guiting Power.

Councillor Joe Harris, Leader of Cotswold District Council, said he was thrilled at the news.

Posting on social media, he said: “Thrilled to say that we’ve been successful with a bid for £162,500 to install four changing places across the Cotswold District.

“Standard accessible toilets do not meet the needs of all people with a disability so this will be life changing for some of our residents and visitors.

“The sites that will be included are: Abbey Grounds, Cirencester; Cotswold Country Park and Beach, Somerford Keynes; Birdland, Bourton on the Water; and Cotswold Farm Park, Guiting Power.”

The chancellor confirmed in his spring statement that over £23.5 million had been allocated to 191 councils across England to install life-enhancing changing places toilets in public places and tourist attractions, dramatically increasing accessibility in areas where users want them most.

Ministerial disability champion Eddie Hughes MP said: “It goes without saying that people with severe disabilities, their families and carers should be able to go shopping, plan a day out or travel without needing to worry about whether they will have access to suitable toilet facilities.

“I am delighted that our funding will help provide over 500 new changing places toilets in England, enabling people to enjoy everything their local area has to offer with dignity and freedom.”

In a study by the Research Institute for Disabled Consumers in 2021 families and carers said the top locations where these facilities should be made available were country parks, open spaces, tourist attractions and transport networks, as the journey to the destination is a key factor in planning a day out. The top venues were beaches and the seaside, motorway services and parks or gardens.

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