£140,000 for new 'Changing Places' toilets in South Tyneside
Changing Places toilets are larger accessible toilets for people who cannot use standard facilities.
They are equipped with hoists, curtains, adult-sized changing benches, and can support both users, their families, and carers.
There are currently 1,300 Changing Places toilets in the England, but this announcement provides funding for an additional 500 rooms.
The new rooms will be delivered across a range of public venues, including cinemas, galleries, shopping centres, museums, visitor centres, beaches, parks, and other entertainment spaces – ensuring those with severe disabilities have the resources they need to enjoy public amenities.
Muscular Dystrophy UK is working in partnership with the Government to deliver the additional spaces, and are supporting local authorities in providing technical advice and training.
Eddie Hughes, Ministerial Disability Champion, said: “It goes without saying that people with severe disabilities, their families and carers should be able to go shopping, plan a day out or travel without needing to worry about whether they will have access to suitable toilet facilities.
“I am delighted that our funding today will help provide over 500 new Changing Places toilets in England, enabling people to enjoy everything their local area has to offer with dignity and freedom”
South Tyneside Conservatives member Carl Duncan said: “Our public spaces provide fantastic opportunities to get out and see our communities, so it is only right that everybody can enjoy them.
“The pandemic has seen loneliness in our communities soar, especially amongst those who are elderly or vulnerable. Providing facilities that will encourage those with mobility issues to be able to get out and about and take part in a wider range of activities is a step in the right direction to alleviate loneliness.
"There is still much more to be done and I am determined to introduce other measures to address this important issue.
“That is why I welcome the funding of £140,000 to South Tyneside, which will help to bring new Changing Places toilets to locations such as cinemas, museums, and libraries.
“The move will ensure that our public spaces and venues are accessible to everyone – bringing equality to our communities and make them fairer”