Swedish furniture giant Ikea’s mission to improve access across its sites has included a new specialist disabled facility at its Coventry branch.
Ikea’s new Changing Places facility makes it the first retailer in the city to have invested in such equipment.
It also claims it will install Changing Places in all its new stores and is committed to upgrading its current outlets with the facilities
A Changing Places provides more space than a standard disabled toilet and includes specialist equipment such as a hoist, accessible WC, changing bench and adjustable height sink.
Retailers in the UK are coming under increasing pressure to invest in equipment and provide Changing Places but even the largest ones are generally reluctant to make the changes.
This has prompted widespread campaigning from disability groups and activists who are said to be frustrated at a perceived lack of provision for people with profound and severe disabilities, many of whom have to be changed on toilet floors.
Birgit Hartelius, Ikea Coventry store manager, said: “At Ikea, we pride ourselves on being accessible to the many people, regardless of ability or mobility.
“We know how important these facilities are to families and carers when they’re planning a day out, which is why we are proud to become the first retailer in Coventry to offer the local community access to a Changing Places toilet facility.”