Councils across England are being encouraged to apply for a share of a £30 million fund to install life-enhancing Changing Places Toilets (CPT) in public places and tourist attractions to enable users to take part in more recreational activities with dignity, confidence, and freedom.
Standard accessible toilets do not meet the needs of all people with a disability. Over 250,000 people in the UK with a disability need extra equipment and space to allow them to use the toilets safely and comfortably. These needs can be met by Changing Places Toilets.
Councils will be invited to complete a short expression of interest to receive a proportion of this funding. They are encouraged to consider where Changing Places toilets are most needed in their communities and are encouraged to work in partnership with other organisations to deliver these facilities, including securing match funding wherever possible.
Every local authority that opts into this programme will be able to receive funding equivalent to the average cost of installing at least one Changing Places toilet in their area.
Local authorities should work with local partners including voluntary and community groups, parish and town councils and others to identify the potential to install new Changing Places toilets in their area and work with building owners to assess the viability of potential projects.
The funding provided will be capital only. Local authorities will be expected to cover the ongoing costs of maintenance of the facilities.
There are currently around 1,200 registered Changing Places toilets in England – these are larger accessible toilets for people who cannot use standard accessible toilets, with equipment such as hoists, curtains, adult-sized changing benches, and space for carers.
Over 250,000 people in the country need these facilities to enable them to get out and about and enjoy the day-to-day activities many of us take for granted.
Research conducted by the Research Institute for Disabled Consumers, also published today, demonstrates that the top 3 places where people currently use and value CPTs are shops, hospitals, and tourist attractions.
Users, their families, and carers would like to see future provision in areas enabling them to ‘have a day out’ and undertake more recreational activities with dignity, confidence, and freedom.
The top 3 locations where these facilities should be made available were country parks, open spaces, tourist attractions, transport networks – the journey to the destination being a key factor in planning a day out. The top 3 venues were: beaches and the seaside, motorway services, and parks or gardens.
o Dedicated advice and information and Changing Places officers to support councils.
o Changing Places manual and training.
o Connecting authorities and collaborative network support, and
o Signposting to suppliers and installation companies.
For further information, including a link to the Expression of Interest Form, go to the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government website at GOV.UK.
The deadline for completed Expressions of Interest is Sunday 26 September 2021.