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New Changing Places toilet

A new Changing Places facility in partnership with Forestry England at Bedgebury National Pinetum.

The Council has been awarded £40,000 towards the provision of accessible public toilets from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ Changing Places public toilets initiative.

The funding will be used to develop a new Changing Places facility in partnership with Forestry England at Bedgebury National Pinetum, allowing more visitors to enjoy the beauty of this award-winning visitor attraction.

Changing Places toilets are designed for use by severely disabled people who need specialised facilities when they are out and about. They are larger accessible toilets for people who cannot use standard accessible toilets, with equipment such as hoists, curtains, adult-sized changing benches, and space for carers.

Paul Taylor, Director of Change and Communities, TWBC said:

We welcome this funding which will be used improve access to specialist Changing Places facilities in the borough. We often take these things for granted but these facilities help disabled people retain their independence and make a real difference to their lives.

Penny Veck, Visitor Services Manager at Forestry England’s Bedgebury National Pinetum, said:

The installation of a Changing Places toilet at the site will help Bedgebury National Pinetum to be more accessible for our visitors and help connect everyone with the nation’s forests. Bedgebury National Pinetum offers a world class tree collection and a place where visitors can enjoy the beauty and diversity of conifers in every season, and this new facility will mean many more people can explore and feel welcome in this special place. Once confirmed, this funding will be an opportunity to invest further in improving people’s health and wellbeing.

In addition to the new facility at Bedgebury some of the funding received by the Council will be used to relocate the Changing Place in Royal Tunbridge Wells town centre.

The Chancellor confirmed in the Spring Statement that over £23.5 million has been allocated to 191 councils across England to install Changing Places toilets in public places and tourist attractions, increasing accessibility in areas where users want them most.

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