One of the North East’s leading heritage sites is now as accessible as possible with the opening of new toilet facilities.

Sunderland City Council is in the middle of a major regeneration programme to revitalise its seafront. Central to improvements at Marine Walk, at Roker seafront, is a new, purpose-built toilet block, which incorporates the ultimate facilities for disabled visitors.

With equipment supplied by Britain’s no. 1 provider of helpful toileting solutions for disabled people, Closomat, the new toilets meet the needs of as many people as possible. The conventional (Document M) wheelchair-accessible toilet features a Closomat Palma Vita wash & dry (bidet) toilet in place of a conventional WC. Looking like, and capable of being used as, a standard toilet, the Palma Vita has built-in douching and drying. The user therefore doesn’t have to wipe clean- or be wiped clean- with toilet tissue: the toilet cleans them efficiently and consistently.

Further, the block features a Changing Places assisted, accessible toilet for people who need extra space and/or equipment. Even in the Changing Places, which as standard incorporates a peninsular WC, washbasin, ceiling track hoist, and adult-sized height adjustable changing bench, the Council has chosen to replace the conventional WC with a Palma Vita.

Explained Dan Hattle, Sunderland City Council Regeneration Manager: “The City Council is committed to providing toilet facilities that meet the needs of everyone, whatever their personal mobility or care demands might be. These new facilities will provide people with complex disabilities and their carers with the opportunities we all take for granted, and enjoy a visit to the seafront.”

Added Kelvin Grimes, Closomat’s away from home project manager: “A large proportion of people can’t use conventional wheelchair-accessible toilets. They need extra space, they need help, they may need lifting or changing- be it a mum with a youngster with special needs through to someone with a stoma. That’s why there’s such a need for Changing Places in addition to conventional accessible facilities. Without them, millions of people with impairments either have to cut their visit short, potentially stay in a soiled nappy, or not go out at all.”

Closomat is Britain’s leading provider of helpful toileting solutions, at home and away, including Changing Places. Uniquely, the company can provide an in-house, ‘one- stop-shop’ complete package for ‘away from home’ assisted accessible toilet facilities, from design and commissioning, through to project management, supply and installation, and can also provide subsequent maintenance and repair.

The website www.clos-o-mat.com is the most comprehensive resource available about Changing Places for campaigners, providers and specifiers alike, with a raft of support information including white papers, calling cards, CAD blocks, video and case studies, available for free download.