Closomat has played a large part in helping to make a £37m multi-arts centre in Chester more accessible by installing a Changing Places facility.
The council’s Storyhouse arts centre combining library, two theatres, a cinema, restaurant and bars, has been designed with full access and includes solutions like ramp access, a lift, wheelchair spaces and a low level counter in the café.
Standard accessible toilets are available on every floor and Closomat’s Changing Places features on the ground floor.
The Changing Places facility is designed for people who need extra support to go to the toilet and features space and equipment to cater for complex needs.
Larger than a conventional wheelchair accessible toilet, Closomat’s Changing Places at Storyhouse includes a WC, ceiling track hoist, adult sized height-adjustable changing bench, privacy screen and height-adjustable wash basin.
Alex Clfton, artistic director, Storyhouse, said: “We want Storyhouse to be a place for everyone. No one should be excluded from seeing theatre or film, or exploringour spaces because of a disability. The disabled visitors we have had have been heartened to find the Changing Places toilet: in fact, Storyhouse is being used as an exemplar scheme for an accessible toilet design toolkit.”
Under Building Regulations and British Standards (BS8300), a Changing Places toilet is ‘desirable’ in buildings to which numbers of the public have access. Since their introduction a decade ago, almost 1000 have been opened across the UK. Under British Standards, a Changing Places is provided in addition to conventional (Building Regulations Document M) wheelchair accessible toilets, and provides 12m2 (3m x 4m), with additional equipment including an adult-sized height adjustable changing bench and ceiling track hoist.