Accessibility review of places and spaces to make Kirklees more inclusive
A key initiative is underway that will see places and spaces reviewed for accessibility in Kirklees.
What’s it for?
We aim to tackle inequalities, create more inclusive spaces and communities enabling people to be more independent in their everyday life.
Where will it happen?
The reviews will include town halls, libraries, and other public buildings as well as a series of travel routes – all of which have been identified by working with community stakeholders.
Support from AccessAble
We are being supported by AccessAble, an organisation that specialises in accessibility reviews. AccessAble have experience of working with the public and private sector. AccessAble will conduct the reviews and prepare an Access Guide for each location. Access Guides will be available online, providing detailed information for building users and visitors.
How long will it take?
The work, which started in July, will see 90 accessibility surveys carried out across the district over the next 3 years. Information gathered, together with feedback from stakeholders, will be used to create design principles for future development and refurbishment of our places and spaces.
Changing Places Toilets update
Alongside the accessibility review, we are also progressing with the installation of Changing Places Toilets funded by the government.
£89,250 secured from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities is being used to build new facilities at Slaithwaite Civic Hall in partnership with Slaithwaite Civic Hall Trust. Funding is also contributing towards the installation of a Changing Places Toilet in the council’s Civic Centre 1 building at High Street, Huddersfield.
What is a Changing Places Toilet?
A Changing Places Toilet is an all-in-one facility. It caters for the needs of people with profound and multiple physical and learning disabilities. Typically 12 meters square in size, it features a toilet that allows space for wheelchair users and their carers; a washbasin that is height adjustable; handrails; privacy curtains; hoist and a multi-purpose changing bench. All these features allow users to maintain their dignity and independence when out and about.
Councillor Jackie Ramsay, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care said:
“It is vital that Kirklees is as open and accessible to people of all backgrounds and abilities. By working with AccessAble to conduct these reviews and making the results available online, people who need to plan trips within Kirklees due to their needs, can do so without worry.
Changing Places Toilets are a lifeline for people who often have to choose between going out and staying at home because of their needs and these facilities will support their independent living.”
Funded by the government and in partnership with Muscular Dystrophy UK, the Changing Places Toilet at Slaithwaite Civic Hall will be completed by March 2024. The facility at Civic Centre 1 will open this Autumn.
Councillor Graham Turner, Cabinet Member for Finance and Regeneration said:
“We have exciting plans and aspirations for Kirklees of which accessibility is key. By making our places and spaces more inclusive we will increase footfall to our towns and villages which will in turn boost our local economy. I look forward to seeing the outcome of the AccessAble reviews that will highlight where improvements can be made subject to our current financial circumstances.”
Funding to build the new facilities must be spent by March 2024.