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Award-winning venue expands accessibility

An award-winning venue is extending its openness with investment in enhanced facilities for disabled theatre-goers.

The Curve

Curve in Leicester, which won a design award from the Royal Institute of British Architects in part for its innovative feature of having no traditional backstage area, has already won a national Access for All Gold Award for Excellence from VisitEngland. Curve's accessibility to disabled visitors is now even further improved, with the opening of a Changing Places 'bigger & better" accessible, assisted toilet, supplied and installed by Closomat, the UK's leading supplier of disabled toileting solutions.

The new facility compliments Curve's 15 other standard disabled toilets throughout the building, and Curve's other offerings to accommodate disabled people, including touch tours, audio description, infra red and induction loops, and free tickets for people needing the assistance of a companion.

Explained Curve Facilities Manager Edward Szwed, "Accessibility and inclusivity are at the heart of our building and work as a theatre, and when the Changing Places was recommended to us by Leicester City Council, we were very keen to provide these excellent facilities at Curve. We saw the Changing Places toilet that Closomat had already installed at Apex Works in the city, and were impressed with the workmanship and finish: the company did a great job for us, converting an existing disabled toilet to provide all the space and equipment needed for the Changing Places facility."

Added Robin Tuffley, Closomat marketing manager, "We all visit the toilet eight times a day on average. We all, regardless of ability, need to use conveniences when away from home. With 11million British people registered disabled, it is morally important, and legally required, that their toilet needs are accommodated, yet thousands of disabled people can't use a standard wheelchair accessible toilet because they need a carer to help them, hence the growing popularity of Changing Places toilets, which give them the space and equipment they need."

A Changing Places toilet is now 'good practice' under BS8300:2009, and 'desirable' under Building Regulations Approved Document M 2013, for all new build and refurbishment projects involving buildings to which numbers of the public have access. Further, under the Equality Act, which replaced the Disability Discrimination Act, service providers are required to make reasonable changes- including to the built environment- where a disabled customer or potential customer would otherwise be at a substantial disadvantage. So far, over 500 have been opened at venues across the country.

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