Council given £140k to improve toilets for disabled people in Coventry

Coventry City Council has secured £140,000 of government funding for new Changing Places toilets for disabled residents in Coventry. The cash will be used to install two new toilets to improve accessibility for severely disabled residents.

Changing Places are toilet facilities which include specialist equipment such as a hoist and adult-sized changing benches to provide adequate space for up to two carers to support people with multiple disabilities. They will ensure that people with severe disabilities, and their carers or families, won’t have to worry about finding suitable facilities whilst on a day out, travelling or shopping.

Coventry City Council is one of 64 local authorities to secure funding for the second time from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. The modular toilets will be built at War Memorial Park and Coombe Abbey Park by March 2024.

The first round of funding will see facilities installed at The Albany Theatre and Shopmobility at Tesco Arena. Around 120 new changing facilities will be erected across the UK in phase one of the Changing Places scheme.

The scheme will provide, in total, more than 600 new facilities with up to 1,900 Changing Places toilets across the country. Locations of the facilities include:

  • Public parks and open spaces
  • Tourist attractions including historic properties, seaside resorts and zoos
  • Cathedrals
  • Museums, theatres, and galleries
  • Shopping centres
  • Libraries and public buildings

Cllr Christine Thomas, Chair of the Disability Action Partnership (DEAP) and Transport Charter lead, said the country was intent on improving the quality of life for members of the disabled community. “We are committed as a council to ensure that the quality of life for these members of our community improves,” she said.

“Part of this commitment is working to break down and remove existing barriers and obstacles that many people with disabilities continue to face such as accessing toilet facilities when out in public places. A few more additional toilet facilities may seem like a small change, but it can make all the difference in terms of having an enriching impact on the life of a disabled person, both from an accessibility point of view and in terms of their mental wellbeing.”

Installing more Changing Places toilets in Coventry is part of the city council’s ambition to improve inclusivity and accessibility for people with disabilities and their families. Access to parks and open spaces is said to be vital for physical and emotional wellbeing, and providing adequate toilet facilities in such venues is seen as a top priority for the council.

“The Partnership supports this initiative and all future work in making Coventry a more inclusive place to live so that disabled persons feel included in the planning of our city,” Cllr Thomas added. For more information about the national Changing Places scheme, visit the Government website.