New building regulations have made it mandatory to include a Changing Places facility in new public buildings in England from 2021. These buildings include shopping centres, cinemas, arts venues, supermarkets and sports stadiums, among others.

This change to the building regulations is a welcome win for those who have been campaigning for this action for years now, and it is thought that it will help over 250,000 individuals and families who require access to a Changing Places facility.

This change in regulation will make a huge difference to the disabled community as it opens up a wider world of accessible venues for disabled people to attend without having to worry about accessing appropriate facilities.

The government has also pledged a £30 million fund to install Changing Places facilities in existing buildings, this is due to open in the next few months.

The Department of Transport, in partnership with Muscular Dystrophy UK, has also promised to install 37 further Changing Places facilities in service stations across England.

Transport Accessibility Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “It is hard to overstate the importance of something as simple as an accessible area for the over 250,000 people nationwide who have a severe disability.

“I want everyone to have the confidence to travel by any means so it is incredibly important for us to work with Muscular Dystrophy UK to provide Changing Places facilities at the majority of service stations in England.”

Kerry Thompson, Changing Places campaigner said: “This is incredible news. Having access to more changing places toilets means freedom. For not just myself but the 250,000 other disabled people and their families.

“Having this much needed change to building regulations guidance will make life easier and more fulfilling. It opens up a whole new world for everyone that needs these life changing facilities. All these changes are helping myself and thousands of others to live the life that we choose, not one that is chosen for us.

Click here to find out more about the campaign.

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