Work will be starting soon on a new Changing Places toilet for Brixham – these are for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well as those with other disabilities that severely limit mobility, who cannot use standard accessible toilets. They are suitable for those with spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis who often need extra equipment and space to allow them to use the toilets safely and comfortably.

The project has been funded with £130,000 from the Department for Levelling Up and Housing and Communities and is being delivered by the Council’s toilet contractors Healthmatic, working in partnership with Changing Places, Muscular Dystrophy UK (MDUK), and Torbay Mencap Society.

The toilet will be located in Brixham Central Car Park, and this will be the second public Changing Places facility for Torbay, with the other one located on Paignton Seafront behind the Vue Cinema and close to the Geopark.

The new block in Brixham will be built on the site of a derelict Shopmobility unit which was used for the previous multi storey car park, and the location is close to existing disabled parking spaces. Heras fencing will be erected around the old Shopmobility unit from 21 May to allow for demolition work initially before foundation groundworks and then there will be work to install utility and sewerage connections. It is anticipated the new unit should be ready by mid July.

Disruption will be kept to a minimum throughout the project and the car park will remain open. While the preparatory works are taking place there may temporarily be some restrictions on access for pedestrians for one of the footpaths from Fore Street down to the car park for some of the time but anyone that is directly affected will be communicated with.

The loading bay currently located by the Shopmobility unit will also be temporarily relocated during the works, still within the Brixham Central car park but behind the back end of Tesco Express (the front faces onto Fore Street).

The new facility will include:

  • height adjustable adult-sized changing bench
  • hoist system
  • adequate space in the changing area for the disabled person and up to two carers
  • centrally placed toilet with room either side
  • screen or curtain to allow some privacy
  • wide tear off paper roll to cover the bench
  • large waste bin for disposable pads
  • non-slip floor.

Councillor Hayley Tranter, Cabinet Member for Adult and Community Services, Public Health and Inequalities for Torbay Council, said: “We are pleased to be able to work with all our partners, with the help of funding from the Department for Levelling Up and Housing and Communities, to begin this important project which will provide much needed facilities for disabled people in Torbay.”

Healthmatic are a leading delivery partner for the Changing Places Campaign who work closely with MDUK on delivering these units across the country and as well as the new one planned for Brixham, they were responsible for delivering the current facility in Paignton as well as holding the current cleaning and maintenance contract for all of Torbay’s toilets.

This project supports the Council’s Community and Corporate Plan. We want all residents, to feel and be safe and to live well within their communities.

You can find out more about Changing Places toilets on the website.

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