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New ‘Changing Places’ toilet facility will make Arnold town centre more inclusive

They have been called a 'vital facility'

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Making public spaces inclusive for people with disabilities and their carers is the aim of the national Changing Places initiative which has seen Gedling Borough Council start work on a new, fully accessible toilet facility at a park in Arnold town centre.

The new facilities at King George V Recreation Ground will cost a total of £191,500 and are due to be completed and open to the public by the end of October 2023.

Funding for the project came from the Changing Places Fund, the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and match funding from Gedling Borough Council.

The Changing Places toilet facility is designed to help meet the needs of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well as people with other physical disabilities such as spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis.

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PROGRESS: Work is underway on the new toilet block at the King George V Recreation Ground in Arnold (PHOTO: GBC)

The facilities will include height adjustable changing benches, a tracking hoist system, space for disabled people and carers, a central toilet and a non-slip floor. The roof of the building will feature solar panels which will be used to help power the facility, with remaining energy being fed back into the grid. Access to the changing places facilities will be available by Radar Key and the site will be monitored by the council’s existing network of CCTV cameras. 

The development is the second Changing Places facility introduced by the council, following the installation of similar equipment at Gedling Country Park in 2017.

As well as the specialist bathroom, two accessible unisex toilets, both of which will include baby changing facilities, are also being built at the site and will be open during park opening hours. 

Leader of Gedling Borough Council, Councillor John Clarke MBE said: “These toilets will provide a vital facility for people visiting the park, the town centre or the new AMP building, and the inclusion of specialist “Changing Places” equipment will mean that no one will be excluded from accessing them. 

“This project is part of our commitment to invest in and revitalise our town centres and I’m sure will be a welcome addition to the area for many of our residents and visitors.

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He added: “We are also looking at potential locations around Carlton where we may be able to install Changing Places facilities, subject to necessary funding and planning permissions. ”

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