Agenda item

Update on Changing Places Toilet Facilities Project

To provide the Committee an update regarding the Changing Places Toilets facilities project across the district.



The Cabinet Member for Housing and Property presented the report.


In July 2021 the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announced the opening for Expressions of Interest bids for a share of a £30M pot to provide Changing Places toilets in existing, publicly accessible buildings, having been announced some months previously and consultation with relevant groups across the district was carried out to determine the preferred locations of the people who would use a Changing Places facility and their carers.  Changing Places toilets were larger accessible toileting facilities for severely disabled people, with equipment such as hoists, curtains, adult-sized changing benches and space for carers.  In March 2022 the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities informed the Council that its bid had been successful and that it had been awarded the maximum £160,000.


The funding is awarded to cover a two-year period for completion of the project.  One location in Grantham was reviewed to allow for increased access and to meet the requirements and suggestions from feedback of local users.  The four sites are now:


·            South Street public toilets, Bourne (In partnership with Bourne Town Council)


·            Abbey Gardens public toilets, Grantham


·            Meres Leisure Centre, Grantham (in partnership with LeisureSK Ltd)


·            The Shack, Recreation Ground, Stamford (in partnership with Stamford Town Council)


Feasibility works have been undertaken on each of the four sites by SKDC’s consultant building survey Banks Long & Co. which provided initial scheme designs and budgetary costings for each of the sites.


From review of the four schemes, initial designs for the Meres Leisure Centre, Grantham and the South Street toilets, Bourne had been agreed and we were now looking to progress these two projects in 2022/23 financial year with contractors who were currently being engaged with via the Changing Places support teams approved contractor list.  From the review of the designs in relation to Abbey Gardens Toilets, Grantham and The Shack, Stamford, specific configuration issues had been identified and this would require further investigation in order for the sites to be brought forward in the 2023/24 financial year.


Members raised the following points during discussion:


·            When was it anticipated that works would be complete?


·            Who will own and manage the facilities and pay for the maintenance?


·            Bourne Town Council was asked for further funding contributions which the Member felt was not appropriate.


·            A Member thanked the Officer who contacted them to explain the lack of suitable venue in the Deepings.


The Chief Finance Officer confirmed that the Council were securing contractors but the sourcing of approved contractors for a national scheme was proving difficult.


The Leader of the Council welcomed the scheme as positive and informed the Committee he had meetings with the Grantham Disabled Children’s Society and the national team at Changing Places.  It was great to provide the facilities that our residents deserved.


The Cabinet Member for Housing and Property confirmed there was a planned meeting to confirm criteria and procedure with the Bourne Town Clerk and Town Councillor.




That the Committee:


a)         Noted the update regarding the Changing Places Toilets facilities project.


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