Great Yarmouth Borough Council has announced the opening of a wheelchair kiosk at Gorleston Beach on the east coast of England.

Thanks to funding from the EXPERIENCE project at Interreg Europe, an inter-regional cooperation programme co-funded by the European Union, the existing shelter in Gorleston has been repurposed and redesigned to include a self-service kiosk and secure housing for the beach wheelchair.

The wheelchairs were supplied to the council by Alton Mobility Services in the West Midlands.

Users can visit the ClubSpark website to book the wheelchair for the day, free of charge, and will receive a code via email for the kiosk’s Digi Lock.

The wheelchairs have large pneumatic wheels so they can slide over the sand, allowing people with limited mobility to easily access to the beach without fear of damaging their own wheelchairs or getting stuck in the sand.

The beach wheelchairs require users to be able to transfer themselves from their usual wheelchair on to a beach wheelchair, as there is not a hoist available. It also needs people to push the wheelchair, because it is difficult for chair users to handle the wheels in the usual way, the council says.

The chairs are supplied with a chest strap but do not have a head support. The maximum weight of users of the chair is 18 stone. Children should be at least three-feet tall to fit in the chair.

Councillor Carl Smith, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: “We have had a beach wheelchair available for hire in Great Yarmouth for many years, which has been hugely popular each summer, so we are excited to extend this free service to Gorleston.

“These beach-friendly wheelchairs allow those with mobility issues to do so along with the rest of their family and friends.”

The Blue Badge Access Awards, an event that rewards exceptionally accessible and inclusive venues in the hospitality, leisure, and tourism industry, announced that it is open for nominations until 18 September 2023.

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