Work has begun to build and refurbish town centre toilets into accessible Changing Places in Mansfield.
The former currently disused Four Seasons Shopping Centre toilets, opposite the current facilities, are undergoing refurbishment work with a target of opening to visitors from late March 2024. Tanbry Construction, who are undertaking the work on behalf of the council, have also started on a second Changing Place at Mansfield Museum, also expected to open in March.
The work at both sites will include the installation of a height-adjustable adult changing bench, a ceiling track hoist, a toilet with space for two assistants and privacy. There will also be wider paper rolls, a large waste disposal bin, a backrest on the toilet seat and a height-adjustable wash basin installed.
Executive Mayor Andy Abrahams said: “We want to ensure that all visitors to Mansfield have the facilities they need for a safe and welcoming experience.
“I am delighted that works are now underway at both sites, and the previously disused space at Four Seasons will be repurposed and open again for the public soon. It is important to reiterate that this funding is ring-fenced to provide new Changing Places facilities, which will both open in just a few months.
“Changing Places toilets provide a dignified and hygienic option for people who need and deserve it. I am delighted that the two locations will be in Mansfield’s most popular visitor locations.”
In March 2022, the council successfully bid to the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLHUC) for £183,200 to deliver Changing Places in Mansfield Museum and the Four Seasons Shopping Centre.
The Changing Places have been designed by the council’s design services team and formally approved by Muscular Dystrophy UK. The requirement to seek approval from the charity is a condition to unlocking the DLUHC funding.
Both the Museum and shopping centre facilities will offer accessible toilets for those who need extra equipment and space to use the toilets safely and comfortably. This can include people with profound and multiple learning disabilities or with physical disabilities such as spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy, and multiple sclerosis.
The facilities are also beneficial for people living with stroke, older people who require assistance and disabled ex-service personnel.
The current toilets in the Four Seasons Shopping Centre will soon be able to take both cash and card payments with the upcoming installation of new paddle gates. The council charges for using its facilities to reduce vandalism. However, charges will not apply to the disabled or Changing Places toilets.