Shopping centre operators are increasingly investing money in mobility equipment and schemes to help elderly and disabled shoppers navigate retail locations more easily.
Templars Square Shopping Centre in Oxford is the latest to buy in new equipment after it invested £8,000 in a brand new fleet of five Invacare scooters.
Shoppers are able to hire the equipment from the centre and use them to travel around its shops.
Templars Square manager Owen Acland told a local newspaper that the shopping centre considers the needs of its community.
He told the Oxford Mail: “We know that it is really important that we make our shops and services accessible so we’ve introduced new mobility scooters for those visitors who find walking around the centre difficult.
“We want to ensure our local community feel independent and are given access to the centre, when they need it.
“Giving people who are less mobile the opportunity to shop means they can come here and deploy a sense of independence, which can really help their self-esteem and confidence.
“We’re helping them to do a little something for themselves, which is great.”
The new equipment has been well received by shoppers and around 40 people use the scooters each week.
As part of the shopping centre’s Shopmobility service, the operator has the equipment serviced and maintained each year.
Last month a Shopmobility service in Yate, near Bristol, was guaranteed for at least this year after a local shopping centre stepped in to provide it with much needed funding.
The Shopmobility facility in Yate Shopping Centre was secured through to 2020 after the centre agreed to donate £5,000 towards the equipment hire scheme.
Image credit: Templars Square Shopping Centre