£100k Changing Places funding to make Worthing more accessible for people with mobility issues
Worthing Council is set to install a Changing Places toilet to support those with mobility issues following a survey by council officers and the borough’s Cabinet Member for the Environment.
Councillor Vicki Wells joined officers on an inspection of the town’s public toilets to assess their condition. The results of the “Toilet Tour” identified a series of improvements that could be carried out on 10 of the town centre’s toilets.
As well as enhancing the existing toilets across the borough, the council is preparing to add a new Changing Places facility – a larger, accessible toilet with access equipment to support those with mobility issues – near the Guildbourne Centre in Worthing, West Sussex.
The council was successful in bidding for £100k of the UK Government’s Changing Places Fund, which is making the new accessible toilet possible. Officers are currently examining exactly where the toilet will be sited, but it is due to be installed in the summer of 2023.
Councillor Wells said: “We want our town centre to be inviting for all, so ensuring we have a number of Changing Places toilets available for those with mobility issues to use is really important to us. We know public facilities can leave a lasting impression on visitors, and we want to continue working with the community to help improve Worthing’s offering.
“We recognise that public toilets are an essential part of our town’s infrastructure, and through the Toilet Tour have identified which toilets need prioritising for improvement works given the budget we have. Those we can’t revamp this time around will all receive minor redecoration works before the next round of toilet upgrades.”
Following the tour, the Lido and the High Street multi-storey car park toilets will be prioritised for renovation in the next financial year.
Improving public toilets for residents and tourists was raised in The Big Listen this summer, during which the council held conversations with people at sites across Worthing on how they would like to see the town improved.
Following feedback from residents, the council is also looking into ways that mobility vehicles and equipment can be secured outside public toilets, so that the users can be reassured that their vehicles are not at risk of being stolen.
Recently, it was announced that a new, modern Changing Places facility would be installed at The Forum in Norwich city centre, following a successful bid for government funding by Norwich City Council.