Magna introduces new 'changing places' facility for disabled visitors

A NEAR-£500,000 rollout of modern disabled toilets has continued with a new “changing places” facility at Magna.

People with disabilities and their carers will benefit from the contemporary conveniences, which include a height adjustable changing table and a hoist.

The specialist loo in the Templeborough science centre provides a purpose-built environment designed to help disabled visitors, including those with complex care needs, learning disabilities, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy.

It will be registered with the Changing Places initiative, which was launched in 2005 to help improve such facilities. Magna has also invested in automated doors to further boost accessibility.

Stuart Lee, operations director at the attraction, said: “Each year Magna welcomes over 1,500 people living with physical disabilities and complex care needs and the addition of a new  facility marks another important milestone in the continued upgrading of the popular attraction.

“We have worked closely with Rotherham Council and the Changing Places foundation to ensure that the new facility we have created results in a safe, dignified area to support individuals with complex care needs, whilst providing peace of mind to carers.”

Cllr Dave Sheppard, RMBC cabinet member for social inclusion, said: “It’s rewarding to see this new extended toilet facility open. It will vastly improve days out for many people who currently find it difficult to enjoy events with their friends, family and carers.

“These Changing Places toilets offer more space and essential equipment than standard accessible toilets. They’re hygienic, safe and comfortable for disabled people and their carers. And because they’re larger than a standard disabled facility, they offer space to manoeuvre a wheelchair, with up to two carers present.

"The council successfully applied for £490,000 from the government’s Changing Places Fund, which is one of the largest amounts awarded to any council. We’ll be using the money to open more of these facilities across Rotherham, which will make the town more accessible to all people.”

A similar facility opened at New York Stadium in March and similar changes are planned for Clifton Park Museum, Gulliver’s Valley, Rother Valley Country Park, Thrybergh Country Park, Wentworth Woodhouse and Grimm and Co.