A brand new state-of-the-art changing and toilet facility has been installed in Towneley Park, Burnley, to help make the popular visitor attraction even more accessible for all.
The new facilities are next to the Rotunda Café and just across the bridge from the disabled-inclusive Riverside play area.
The new toilet and changing facilities have all the features necessary to make them compliant to be registered as a Changing Places destination. They include features such as grab rails, panic alarm, privacy screen, and a ceiling track hoist system. One wall features a colourful aerial view of Towneley Hall.
They were officially opened by Councillors Ivor Emo and Cosima Towneley, watched by Friends of Towneley Park and disabled visitors who said the facilities would make the park more welcoming to a wider range of people.
The scheme cost £65,000 and was funded by the Disabled Facilities Grant provided by central government and distributed to local authorities.
Improvements to the Riverside play area in Towneley Park last year opened up the playground to youngsters with varying abilities to play together. The £100,000 investment included new features include an interactive SONA arch, wheelchair swing, inclusive roundabout, and improvements to the sand and water play area allowing wheelchair access.
While there was positive feedback from the public, user groups and the Friends of Towneley Park to the new play area, it also highlighted the fact that people with disabilities were still restricted to a short visit to the park due to the lack of suitable changing and toilet facilities. The new facilities address that need.
Councillor Ivor Emo, the council’s executive member for housing and leisure, said: “We’re very proud of Towneley Park and we want to make it as accessible as possible for everyone so that we attract more visitors to one of the most beautiful spots in our borough.
“Standard accessible toilets are not suitable for all users so this facility will fulfil the need of the most vulnerable in society. It’s part of Burnley Council’s commitment to making public spaces accessible for all visitors and users.”
The supplier iHUS plans to register the site with Changing Places. There are already other Changing Places facilities in Burnley at St Peter’s leisure centre and Charter Walk shopping centre.