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Plans take shape for five 'essential' Changing Places

Norfolk County Council, 30 March 2022 00:00

Ambitious plans to increase the number of Changing Places in Norfolk have been revealed in proposals going to Norfolk County Council's cabinet on 4 April.

The plans have identified the first five locations for new facilities as part of the authority's efforts to make Norfolk more accessible to everyone.

Changing Places facilities are larger accessible toilets for people with complex needs and disabilities with additional equipment like hoists, curtains, adult sized changing bench, and space for carers.

These proposals follow a £600,000 commitment made by the county council in 2020 to use the council's existing estate to establish more Changing Places in Norfolk.

Margaret Dewsbury, cabinet member for communities and partnerships at Norfolk County Council said:

"We know that Changing Places are essential for so many families. It allows them to enjoy activities that others may take for granted so we are committed to improving the number of locations in Norfolk."

The proposals would see Changing Places established at:

  • Acle Library
  • Wroxham Library
  • Either Brancaster Staithe, Brancaster Beach or Morston Quay (Subject to further exploration)
  • Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse
  • Dereham Library

There are currently just 17 Changing Places across the county which prompted the investment from the county council.

Ceri Sumner, director of community, information and learning at Norfolk County Council, said:

"It is clear there are not enough Changing Places in Norfolk, and we are committed to improving accessibility across the county, both for our residents and for visitors. That starts with us leading the way by investing directly in more locations. We have been speaking to local advocacy and support groups throughout this process and we will continue to do so as these plans progress."

If agreed, further work will be done at each of the five county council locations to explore the feasibility, design and planning needed to establish each new facility. These proposals are still at an early stage so it is expected that any building work will begin in the second half of 2023.

In addition to these five proposed sites, the county council is working with district councils and local partners on further locations so government funding can be used where it is needed most.
In March 2021 the Government announced that an additional £30 million would be made available to district councils to establish more Changing Places facilities across the UK. On 24 March 2022 the government announced the first round of this funding with £665,000 allocated to districts in Norfolk to help pay for up to 20 Changing Places.

Cabinet will consider the report when it meets at 10am on Monday, 4 April.

Watch the meeting, live or afterwards and read the report. (opens new window)

Last modified: 14 May 2024 12:43