The campaign for more Changing Places toilets is set to get a major boost, with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, set to announce a £30 million investment in tomorrow’s Budget.
The money will be used to match-fund the costs of installing Changing Places toilets in existing buildings in England.
Mr Sunak is also expected to confirm that Changing Places toilets will be compulsory in new public buildings by the end of the year. This follows the Government consultation last year.
What are Changing Places toilets?
Changing Places toilets have more room than a standard accessible toilet, with specialist equipment such as an adult-sized changing bench and a hoist system.
They are needed by more than a quarter of a million people in the UK, including people with muscle-wasting conditions.
What do we think?
As co-chairs of the Changing Places Consortium, we are delighted by this news and hope it will encourage more venues to install these much-needed fully-accessible facilities.
Clare Lucas, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Muscular Dystrophy UK, says:
Going to the toilet is a basic human right, yet too many disabled people are denied that right because of a lack of Changing Places toilets. We are pleased the Government has recognised the need for more of these facilities and is making such a significant investment.
The Changing Places Consortium and campaigners met with Rishi Sunak — then a minister at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) — and Government officials in 2018 and 2019 to discuss how the Government could help increase Changing Places toilet provision.
We wouldn’t be here without the work of our wonderful campaigners, who have been putting pressure of the Government for years to try to increase the number of Changing Places toilets. Thanks to them for their tireless efforts in highlighting the importance of Changing Places toilets.
What has the Government said?
The Government has said it will set out further details on the Changing Places toilet fund in due course, which we will share as soon as we have them.
The Consortium will work closely with the Government to identify those sectors where the provision of Changing Places toilets needs to be accelerated.
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.