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Forward-thinking shopping centres are set to see an increase in visitor numbers, especially with the January sales, simply because they have adopted a more accessible approach, in line with latest Regulations.
Disabled people spend over £80b a year, yet 80% of them have, according to research, taken their business elsewhere because the location was inaccessible to them.* Research also shows people make a conscious decision NOT to visit somewhere if they feel there are not suitable toilets.
Now, under the 2013 Building Regulations Approved Document M, it is now ‘desirable’ for any location to which the public have access to incorporate a Changing Places assisted accessible toilet in addition to standard accessible toilet facilities.
Offering more space than traditional accessible toilets, Changing Places facilities further include equipment to enable anyone who needs the help of a carer to toilet to do so in appropriate, hygienic surroundings.
The Trafford Centre, Frenchgate Shopping Centre, WestQuay, the Metro Centre, and Manchester Arndale have already installed Changing Places toilets, to enable more disabled people to spend time- and money- at the venues. The Trafford Centre is just one of the leading venues that chose Clos-o-Mat to supply and install the Changing Places toilet, and it further chose to replace the standard conventional WC therein with a Clos-o-Mat automatic shower (wash and dry) toilet.
Andy Bates, customer services manager at the Centre, commented, “We pride ourselves on listening to our customers It was a lot of research, and listening to those customers, that focussed us on investing in additional changing facilities, and user testimony is reinforcing we made the right choice.”
Adds Kelvin Grimes, Clos-o-Mat Changing Places project manager, “We go to the toilet on average eight times a day. We have all experienced the need to use public conveniences when away from home, and made decisions either to go back somewhere or not because of the toilets! If you need the help of a carer, if there are not suitable facilities such as Changing Places, you end up potentially being changed on the floor, cutting your trip short, or even soiling yourself.”
Clos-o-Mat (www.clos-o-mat.com) is the leading supplier of Changing Places toilets, and the only British company capable of providing in-house design advice, supply, installation, project management, commissioning and on-going service/ maintenance of the equipment therein. Since the Changing Places campaign began, over 550 have been opened at venues across the country, enabling disabled people to enjoy life beyond their home.
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