£30 million investment to provide Changing Places toilets

Thursday March 4th, 2021

More than 250,000 disabled people in the country will benefit from greater access to life-enhancing Changing Places toilets, as the government announces a new £30 million fund to increase the number of facilities across England.

Announced today (4 March 2021) by Regional Growth Minister Luke Hall, the move 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.

Over 250,000 people in the country need these facilities to enable them to get out and about and enjoy the day-to-day activities many of us take for granted.

The combination of the change in the law and today’s investment for existing buildings means thousands of people with complex needs will have greater access to public places.

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.

Muscular Dystrophy UK, in partnership with MHCLG and the Research Institute for Disabled Consumers, will also be undertaking a call for evidence with users in England to help develop an understanding of user needs and priorities.  

Councils will be invited to “opt in” to bid for a proportion of the £30 million funding so they can install facilities in their communities and boost the number of Changing Place toilets in existing buildings, for example leisure and sports, cinemas, and arts and tourism venues.

This will improve the geographical spread across England and ensure more disabled people can take part in everyday activities that have the greatest impact on their quality of life.

You can find your nearest registered Changing Places toilet in the UK by going to the Changing Places website and using the location map.

The government has recently closed a consultation of a review of provision of toilets for men and women in municipal and private sector locations in England.

Regional Growth Minister 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.”

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