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Cultural development

A redevelopment central to the new cultural quarter in Halifax is delivering first-class facilities, for all, right through to its toilets!

The town’s Square Chapel Arts Centre reaches over 30,000 people a year with shows, events and workshops. Its Grade II listed home for the past 27 years is being redeveloped and extended, so the new Cornerstone building can continue the venue’s prominence in helping make the town one of the fastest growing cultural tourism destinations in England. The scheme includes a new café bar, auditorium incorporating a cinema, foyer and dressing rooms.

Square ChapelTo open the venue to everyone, architects Evans Vettori and access consultant Alison Grant worked in partnership with Closomat to deliver optimum accessibility for visitor and performer personal hygiene. Thus, three dressing rooms on the lower ground floor and one backstage have en-suite accessible shower and toilet facilities, and a full-specification Changing Places assisted, accessible toilet facility installed in the main building as part of a new toilet block for visitors. 

The Changing Places room means anyone who needs the help of a carer to go to the toilet, and/or who needs lifting, and/or changing, can visit Square Chapel knowing they can access suitable toilet facilities. The Changing Places includes a conventional wheelchair-accessible peninsular WC, wall-mounted height adjustable adult-sized changing bench, height adjustable washbasin, ceiling track hoist, shower and shower seat. 

“From the outset, the redevelopment has had a primary objective of delivering inclusive access for all performers and visitors to the building,” explained Alison. “The provision of a Changing Places supports that ethos. I’ve worked with Closomat before: its team is able to bring valuable technical support at the design stage, and can supply, install, and commission the equipment in the Changing Places.”

Under Building Regulations and British Standards (BS8300), a Changing Places toilet is ‘desirable’ in buildings to which numbers of the public have access. Since their introduction a decade ago, almost 1000 have been opened across the UK. Under British Standards, a Changing Places is provided in addition to conventional (Building Regulations Document M) wheelchair accessible toilets, and provides 12m2 (3m x 4m), with additional equipment including an adult-sized height adjustable changing bench and ceiling track hoist.

Closomat is Britain’s leading provider of helpful toileting solutions, at home and away, including Changing Places and their similar Space to Change facilities. 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.

Its 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.

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