Government announces £30m funding boost for Changing Places toilets in 2020 Budget
In the UK Government’s 2020 Budget announcement today, Chancellor Rishi Sunak MP will reveal a £30 million investment for Changing Places facilities.
Changing Places toilets are larger than standard toilets to accommodate disabled people, including those in a wheelchair; they feature a raft of specialist equipment such as hoist systems and adult-sized changing benches.
The new Changing Places Fund will see the Government match fund the costs of installing Changing Places toilets in existing buildings. However, it is unclear as to whether the new investment will be for the whole of the UK or England only.
Following discussions between the Changing Places Consortium, Changing Places campaigners, Rishi Sunak and Government officials in 2018 and 2019 on how the Government could help increase Changing Places toilet provision, the Consortium has welcomed this latest announcement.
In an official statement from the Changing Places Consortium, it said: “As a Consortium we strongly welcome this news and know what a huge impact it will have for every person that depends on these vital toilets to live their lives without worrying when they will be able to access a toilet that meets their needs.
“Thank you to all campaigners who have been putting pressure on the Government for years to try and increase the provision of Changing Places toilets across the UK- this victory is yours!”
The Government will also set out further details on the Changing Places Fund in due course.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said: “Where people shop, go out, or travel should not be determined by their disability. Yet, currently the lack of the right facilities can prevent some people from enjoying the day-to-day activities many of us take for granted.
“I want to change that, which is why my Budget this week is about spreading opportunity, not only across different parts of the country, but also throughout our communities.”
To help drum up awareness around the importance of Changing Places facilities, Closomat and Hillrom recently launched a dedicated Changing Places website, which covers the scope of equipment that’s required in a Changing Places facility alongside Building Regulations and compliance.