The Alnwick Garden has reaffirmed its commitment to providing accessibility to all, having secured a substantial contribution from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund through support from Northumberland County Council.
Having boosted the charity’s internal investment, the £50k contribution has been used to create a fully furnished Changing Places Toilet (CPT) facility on site, securing The Alnwick Garden’s position as a leading accessible tourist attraction in Northumberland.
Works on the facility, located next to the first aid room within The Pinery Gift Shop, began in January, to make the site fully accessible in time for the new season, which will begin on 8 February.
The project, installed by Rise Adaptations, includes underfloor heating, 13 sq m of electric hoist runners with ceiling hoists, electric sinks, a height-adjustable bench within the shower, and a peninsular toilet.
Head of marketing at The Alnwick Garden, Ian McAllister, commented: “There are over a quarter of a million people in the UK that need facilities such as Changing Places Toilets to enable them to enjoy day-to-day activities and use a toilet safely and in comfort.
“As part of our commitment to providing an experience accessible for all throughout The Alnwick Garden and Lilidorei, we are delighted to have received the funding necessary to offer a full service, improving the visitor experience for everyone.
“Our CPT facilities are free to use even without entry to the garden, which is ideal for anyone on a long journey who might need to visit specialist facilities.”
Councillor John Riddle, Cabinet Member with Northumberland County Council, said: “We were pleased to have been able to access this Government funding on The Alnwick Garden’s behalf, and this partnership enabled this fantastic facility to be created.
“We all know how important good toilets are for visitors and these Changing Places facilities will be so useful for those with additional needs.”
Welcoming over 315,000 visitors annually to The Alnwick Garden, Lilidorei and The Treehouse, The Alnwick Garden is a multi-award winning visitor attraction and part of The Alnwick Garden Trust.
Mr McAllister added: “This important investment hopefully brings us one step closer to all venues and attractions in England becoming fully accessible, and is just another reason why the North East is becoming one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations.”
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