Manchester City Council successfully bid for funding of £175K from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and communities to go towards installing six Changing Places Toilets at venues across the city.
In addition to the two parks, other sites to benefit from these brand new fully accessible toilets include HOME, North City Leisure and Fitness, Wythenshawe Forum, and The People’s History Museum.
Currently there are no CPTs in the south of the city and only one in the north at Abraham Moss Leisure Centre, so these locations were selected for their geographical spread across the city to make public facilities such as leisure centres, green spaces, shopping, libraries and cultural spaces more accessible to those with complex needs.
The fully accessible toilets in the parks will be in a separate building and contain adult-sized changing bench, toilet, shower with hoist facilities as well as extra space for carers, giving people dignity when they need to use the bathroom on a trip out. These new facilities will make the parks and other venues much more inclusive and convenient as a destination for people who have a range of needs that are not met by standard accessible toilets.
Work has already started to install the CPT between the Lakeside Cafe and Boat House in Heaton Park and in the former stables and cafe area in Wythenshawe Park.
Installation takes about two months, and final registration of the CPT is done by Muscular Dystrophy UK, co-chairs of the Changing Places Consortium, which provides specialist expertise to support councils awarded funding.
Councillor Luthfur Rahman, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council said:
“This is an incredibly significant step to making so many more of our cultural venues and public spaces more accessible to people with complex needs. We do not want to exclude anyone from some of our best loved venues across the city. We want people with disabilities to know that they can come to a range of places and spend time in them confidently knowing that there are facilities available to support them.”
The total cost of the Changing Places Toilets is just under £500,000.