Improved toilet facilities have been installed in Colchester’s Castle Park to provide better access for disabled people.
The toilet facilities next to the Park Café have been refurbished to include toilets for men, women and disabled people as well as baby change facilities, a wheelchair ramp and improved steps for access.
A Changing places facility has also been installed to help severely disabled visitors like those with profound learning difficulties or motor neurone disease use the toilet safely.
The facility provides equipment such as a height-adjustable changing bench and a hoist enabling those in need and their carers to use a toilet in comfort.
Martin Goss, councillor responsible for waste, transport and the environment, said: “It’s important we ensure our public conveniences meet everyone’s needs and expectations.
“Castle Park is the first outdoor setting for a Changing Place in Colchester and these new and improved facilities will bring even more visitors to this fantastic, award-winning park.”
Those wishing to make use of the Changing places facilities at the Castle Park will have to submit a one-time online application form and provide evidence of their disability, before being given an access code.
The Castle Park will also be added to the Changing Places map, so that Colchester visitors are aware of its existence and location.
The works on the refurbishment were funded with £171,000 of Colchester Borough Council’s New Homes Bonus grant.
Additional funding of £40,000 has come from Essex County Council as a contribution to the Changing Places facility.
Councillor Louise McKinlay, a cabinet member of Essex County Council, responsible for children and families highlighted the importance of the scheme in supporting both disabled people and their families.
He said: “This park is a beautiful place and with the opening of this new facility all can now enjoy what Castle Park has to offer.”
Currently, there are over 1,300 Changing Places toilets in the UK. However, more of them are required to support the demanding needs of more than a quarter of a million disabled people.
For further information about the Changing Places in Castle Park and to apply to use the facility, visit: www.colchester.gov.uk/changingplaces