District’s newest Changing Places toilet opens

The district’s newest Changing Places facility, which provides fully accessible toilets designed with generous space and specialist equipment, has opened at The Beaney in Canterbury.

The £63,000 city council project has seen the brand new facility built on the museum’s ground floor next to the existing public toilets.

The equipment consists of a full room coverage hoist system, height adjustable changing bench, height adjustable wash basin, a peninsula toilet with hand rails and a wall-mounted folding privacy screen.

It is the council’s fourth Changing Places toilet in the district, to go with those at Reculver Country Park, Herons Leisure Centre in Herne Bay and Whitstable Harbour.

Others can be found at the University of Kent’s Templeman Library, Northgate Ward Community Centre and Sainsbury’s in Herne Bay.

And an eighth facility will open at Kingsmead Leisure Centre in Canterbury this summer.

Cabinet member for public toilets, Cllr Charlotte Cornell (pictured above left), said: “Providing high quality and fully accessible public toilets is a priority for us and we are so pleased with the end result of our latest project at the Beaney.

“This is a facility that is available to anyone who needs to use it, not just visitors to the Beaney, with step free access from the museum entrance in Best Lane.

“We know the difference that Changing Places facilities make to people’s lives and are proud to be playing our part in this with toilets at locations across the district.”

Cabinet member for culture and community, Cllr Connie Nolan (pictured above right), said: “We have put inclusivity at the centre of everything we do at the Beaney and the completion of the Changing Places facility is just the latest step in that process.

“From our visual story guides and SEND family backpacks to our award winning work around mental health and wellbeing, we want to be known as a venue that welcomes everybody to enjoy and interact with our exhibitions and many community activities.”

The money for this project came from the government’s Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities following the council’s successful bid for funding.

Support came from Muscular Dystrophy UK, which partners with the government to offer advice on the installation of Changing Places toilets, signing off designs and providing guidance on appropriate equipment.

Published: 10 May 2024

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