New accessible toilet planned for Worcester city centre
Plans are underway to bring a new fully accessible toilet to the Cornmarket, as part of Worcester City Council's bid to make the city centre accessible to all.
The Changing Places facility will be a large accessible toilet with equipment such as hoists, adult-sized changing benches and space for carers. Thousands of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well other disabilities that severely limit mobility, cannot use standard accessible toilets. There is a national programme of investment in Changing Places toilets and the City Council was successful in securing £60k in Government funding to add this extra facility into the city centre, to complement the Changing Places facilities already available in the Hive and on the University's St John's campus.
Cornmarket car park has been chosen as the location for the new toilet as it is in a central location with access to retail and grocery shopping and also entertainment such as cinemas, restaurants, pubs and cafes. It also has adjacent disabled parking spaces.
Due to rising building costs since the funding application, a further £20,000 is now needed to carry out the work, which it is expected can be completed later this year. Members of the Policy and Resources Committee will be asked to approve the additional funding requirement at a meeting later this month.
Worcester City Council's Member Champion for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Cllr Robyn Norfolk said: "We hope that councillors will approve the release of the additional funds needed to deliver a new Changing Places Toilet right in the heart of the city centre. We know how vital it is for many people with disabilities and their carers to have access to a facility like this. The Council hopes to deliver more inclusive facilities over the next few years as part of its commitment to ensuring Worcester is an accessible city for everyone."