Manchester United’s stadium is set to undergo significant structural work to improve access and capacity for disabled supporters.
The plans, to be phased in over the next three years, will see more than 300 new positions for disabled supporters, including the installation of new wheelchair user platforms, toilets, accessible kiosks, the widening of vomitories and new amenity seats for other disabled supporters.
The design will incorporate state-of-the-art reversible platforms and structural work will be completed ahead of the 2017-18 campaign.
The news comes after all Premier League football clubs agreed to improve access for disabled supporters by August.
Speaking of the changes to Old Trafford, Manchester United’s group managing director, Richard Arnold, commented: “In recent years, the club has introduced designated areas where wheelchair users can sit alongside friends and family, was one of the first in the country to install a Changing Places facility, while our Ability Suite remains the best accessibility lounge in any UK sports stadium, over a decade after its initial introduction.”
Chas Banks, secretary of the Manchester United Disabled Supporters’ Association (MUDSA) welcomed the changes, saying: “This is a huge task and it can’t be completed overnight. However, it will be completed faster than most believed possible. More importantly, this expansion is the beginning of a process, not the end. Manchester United is constantly looking to improve in every area and I’m confident they will apply that same ambition towards their disabled fans.”
Two years ago mobility firm Aveso installed its 800th UK Changing Places facility at Old Trafford and it has been continually aiding the install of the disability-friendly rooms in stadia around the country.