Scotland’s first purpose-built arts centre is continuing its pioneering tradition by becoming the first such venue in the region to fully open its doors to people with disabilities and their carers.
The Macrobert Arts Centre, at the University of Stirling, has opened a Changing Places toilet. Supplied and installed by Closomat, it is believed to be the first Arts Centre in Scotland to have such a facility.
Complementing the three existing wheelchair-accessible toilets already at Macrobert, the Changing Places toilet offers a space of 10m² to accommodate the user, two carers, and additional equipment, including a ceiling track hoist to help lifting and transfer, an adult sized height adjustable changing bench, a height adjustable washbasin, a peninsular toilet to enable assistance from either side, and a privacy screen.
Elizabeth Fuller, Macrobert Arts Centre venue manager, said: “The Centre has a commitment to being accessible and inclusive, to fit the needs of the individual as opposed to the majority. Changing Places Toilets campaigner Laura Rutherford asked about including one of the toilet facilities, so she and her son Brody could access the whole variety of arts programming and activities that we offer.”
Mrs Rutherford explained: “Elizabeth instantly understood the difference a Changing Places Toilet would make to me, Brody and the thousands of other disabled people and their carers who need additional support with intimate hygiene. A Changing Places Toilet is the difference between being stuck at home or having the confidence to go out. I am so grateful to the Macrobert for listening and promoting access for all.”
Under Building Regulations and British Standards, a Changing Places toilet is ‘desirable’ in buildings to which numbers of the public have access. Since their introduction a decade ago, 1,000 have been opened across the UK.