The government has announced £30 million in funding to increase the number of Changing Places toilets across England.
Announced today by Regional Growth Minister Luke Hall, the move is set to benefit more than 250,000 disabled people.
It follows laws that came into effect from January 2021 that made the provision of Changing Places toilets compulsory in certain new buildings.
Changing Places toilets are larger accessible toilets for people who cannot use standard disabled toilets, with equipment such as hoists, curtains, adult-sized changing benches and space for carers.
Luke Hall MP said: “For too long, the lack of suitable toilet facilities has meant disabled people have faced major difficulties when they shop, go out, or travel and this should not be the case.
“That’s why the provision of Changing Places toilets is so important for people who cannot use standard accessible toilets.
“This programme is a significant investment from government that will help bring major, life enhancing freedoms to those people who have specific needs. ”
Kerry Thompson, Changing Places campaigner, commented: “The biggest challenge I face when going anywhere outside my home is locating a Changing Places facility. They really do make a world of difference when planning days out so today’s announcement will open up a whole new world for the hundreds of thousands of people who rely on them. This wouldn’t have been possible without support from Muscular Dystrophy UK, co-chairs of the Changing Places Consortium.
“Knowing I have access to a Changing Places toilet lets me enjoy myself without having to worry about finding an accessible facility that can accommodate my needs. The additional funding from the government to improve facilities in existing buildings across England will give me and my husband the freedom that so many disabled people are desperate for.”
This programme will be delivered in partnership with the charity Muscular Dystrophy UK, co-chairs of the Changing Places Consortium, who will provide advice to support councils in their delivery.