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Vital ‘Changing Places’ facilities improve beach access for people with disabilities

Gower Beach in Swansea

TWO more beaches in Swansea and Gower have been fitted out with fully accessible ‘Changing Places’ toilet facilities.

The latest installation of these specialised facilities at Knab Rock in Mumbles and at Rhossili, ensures that people with multiple and complex disabilities can have access to the beach and enjoy a comfortable visit.

Swansea Council has installed the Changing Places facilities as part of its ongoing work to improve public toilets all across the city.

The latest work now means there are three of these facilities along the Swansea coastline with the other featured at Caswell Bay.

Changing Places facilities include vital equipment to support those with specific disabilities, including height adjustable benches and washing equipment, a ceiling hoist system and adequate space to accommodate support assistants.

The Council, along with support from the Welsh Government, has invested almost £190,000 (Brilliant Basics 2022) installing the much needed equipment.

Cyril Anderson, Cabinet Member for Community, said: “I can’t emphasise how important it is that we have these type of facilities in our city, especially at our beaches.

“While many people with certain disabilities can access standard toilets we provide, there are many across the UK who are living with more complex issues who require support, such as those with spinal injuries, people living with a stroke or those with profound and multiple learning disabilities. These facilities allow their needs to be met with the level of dignity that most people take for granted.”

“These new facilities at Knab Rock and Rhossili ensure that our beautiful coastline is more accessible to all our visitors and enhances Swansea, and Wales as a visitor destination.”.

“I’m thrilled we have been able to install the new Changing Places toilets and increase the choices for people that need them. This has been made possible with support from the Welsh Government who provided a grant from their Brilliant Basics programme.”

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The new facilities should be open to the public at the end of June.

The improvements have been completed following the adoption of the Council’s Public Toilets strategy. 

The strategy has sought to invest heavily in existing toilets throughout Swansea and has led to major improvements city-wide.

More than £300,000 has been spent on toilet facilities and the latest to benefit from the work include the toilet block at Port Eynon, which has been repainted and retiled throughout.

Cllr Anderson added: “Many of our public toilet blocks in communities throughout Swansea have been updated as part of the investment. We’ve previously renovated facilities in Clydach and more recently completed improvements at Port Eynon.”

A list and an interactive map of more than 30 public toilets located around Swansea can be found here: https://www.swansea.gov.uk/article/9068/Public-toilets