Ely, Littleport and Soham are each to get a fully accessible Changing Places toilet after East Cambridgeshire District Council put in a successful bid for Government funds.
The disabled toilets are special because they contain a hoist and a changing bench enabling people who need personal assistance to use the toilets or get changed without having to lay on the floor of a public toilet. This can include people with profound and multiple physical and learning disabilities, spinal injuries and people living with stroke.
The toilets are to be located at The Lighthouse Centre, Ely, the public toilets in Fountain Lane, Soham and Littleport Youth and Community Centre.
East Cambridgeshire District Council applied to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities for the £93000 grant and was notified of the funding on February 4. The three new locations are in addition to the existing Changing Places toilets located at The Hive Leisure Centre, at Ely Leisure Village and at Ely Railway Station.
The new funding will help open up East Cambridgeshire to disabled people and their carers, enabling them to spend more time in local communities. It is estimated over 17 per cent of people living in these areas have serious physical disabilities and 16 per cent have moderate physical disabilities.
All venues were chosen following an audit by Rise Adaptions on the basis they have space and suitable infrastructure to host the toilets and are located in highly populated areas. The Lighthouse Centre in Ely is convenient for shoppers and visitors to the City and Ely Cathedral. The ability to have changing places toilets in Soham and Littleport – both of which are high-growth areas – will benefit the population and support the council’s continued investment in the market towns.
Cllr Anna Bailey, leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “Having additional Changing Places facilities in Ely, Soham and Littleport will mean the district is more welcoming and accessible for our residents and visitors. As well as supporting disabled people and their carers, it will also allow residents and visitors to stay longer and enjoy all that Ely, Soham and Littleport have to offer.”
The Council will now work with the providers to begin the process of organising the installation of their Changing Places facilities in readiness for the funding which will come in the new financial year.