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Redditch’s New Changing Places Facility to Open This Week

People with disabilities that prevent them from using standard disabled toilets are to benefit from state-of-the-art new facilities opening in Redditch’s Kingfisher Centre this week.

A ‘Changing Places’ facility has recently been completed in the centre, making it easier for disabled children and adults to enjoy a day out in the town. The opening of the £127,000 facility is thanks to a successful funding partnership between the centre, Redditch Borough Council, and Redditch BID with £40,000 secured from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC).

Changing Places toilets are designed for people who cannot use standard disabled toilets, and come with additional accessibility equipment, such as hoists and adult sized changing benches.

The facility will be available for use from this Thursday (25th April). It will be accessible between 7am and 8.30pm each day.

Redditch’s successful bid to DLUHC was championed by local Paralympian Leanna Horne, and supported by Young Solutions, Myriad Centre, Spectrum Days, and Chadsgrove School, all of which work with disabled people in Redditch, as well as the Cultural Compact for North East Worcestershire.

Kingfisher Redditch’s General Manager, Adrian Field, said: “We are delighted that through partnership working we have been able to open this new Changing Places facility in the Kingfisher Shopping Centre. Working with the council and Redditch BID, alongside DULHC, has allowed us to make this important upgrade to the facilities we are able to offer our customers. We are hopeful this will allow more people stress free and enjoyable visits to the centre.”

In a 2021 study of disabled consumers, families and carers listed transport centres and country parks as amongst the top places these facilities should go, to be able to plan days out. The Kingfisher Centre is central to Redditch, next to all the town’s major transport links, just a short distance from the Palace Theatre, and less than a mile from Arrow Valley County Park and its visitor attractions.

Local Para-Athlete, Leanna Horne, said: “To have a facility like this in the heart of the town is a major positive for the town. To be able to go for a day out in the centre, without having to worry if there will be suitable facilities available will allow lots of people like me, who need the extra assistance from a hoist etc to get out and enjoy what the town has to offer.”

The 1 million square foot shopping centre hosts retail, leisure, public, and community services, as well as one of the nation’s biggest public artworks, the vibrant Paolozzi Mosaics, whose panels cover over 2,500 square feet of the centre’s Milward Square.

Development Services Manager for Redditch Borough Council, Jonathan Cochrane, said: “Nobody wants to worry about whether they will have access to a toilet facility, whether you’re experiencing the culture of the town at the Palace Theatre or enjoying perusing the shops in the Kingfisher. This new Changing Places facility allows visitors to the town a worry free enjoyable time to experience all the town has to offer.”

The Changing Places toilet will complement other accessibility facilities there including accessible toilets, parent and child changing rooms, and the borough council’s integrated Shopmobility and Dial-A-Ride community services.

Redditch BID Manager, Muj Rahman, said: “Redditch BID works hard to make Redditch town centre a thriving place for local businesses where residents can enjoy spending their time – making the centre more accessible is a positive for businesses and residents alike.”

You can find out more about what amenities Changing Places facilities offer and where other facilities are located here:

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