Successful bid for four new Changing Places toilets

Flatford Mill and The Food Museum (formerly the Museum of East Anglian Life)

Four new locations across Babergh and Mid Suffolk will soon be home to new Changing Places facilities. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown / Gregg Brown

A successful £200,000 funding bid will see Changing Places toilets installed at four key visitor locations across Babergh and Mid Suffolk. 

Changing Places facilities are bigger toilets which feature specialist equipment such as hoists, privacy screens, adult-sized changing benches, and peninsula toilets as well as space for carers.

This follows news of two Ipswich parks also gaining funding for Changing Places facilities.

In Babergh the first Changing Places facility will be at Flatford Mill, with the national trust looking after the facilities.

National Trust's Leigh Freeman, said: “Everyone should have the right to benefit from nature, beauty and history and the positive benefits that special places like Flatford and the Dedham Vale can offer. 

"People with severe disabilities and their families should be able to enjoy their day without having to worry about whether they can access suitable facilities. 

"Hundreds of thousands of visitors come to enjoy Flatford and Dedham Vale every year and we’re working hard to make Flatford a more accessible place to visit."

The second facility in Babergh will be located at Bell Vue Park, Sudbury, either as part of the new café or as a stand-alone unit.

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Babergh District Council leader, Councillor John Ward, said: “I am delighted that we have received funding to build two new Changing Places facilities in the district and in partnership with one of our key visitor attractions.

"The introduction of these facilities will mean more people with a range of disabilities can access and enjoy more of our wonderful attractions."

In Mid Suffolk, the Changing Places Facilities will be located at the Food Museum (formerly the Museum of East Anglian Life) as well as Stradbroke Swimming Pool and Fitness Centre. 

Food Museum director, Jenny Cousins, said: “We are really thrilled that we are going to be able to build a Changing Places facility in Stowmarket town centre.

"Many people will really benefit from access to these facilities and it’s really important in enabling people to leave their homes and live a full life.”  

Mid Suffolk District Council leader, councillor Suzie Morley, said: “It is hugely important that all residents and visitors to our district can access the appropriate facilities for them.

"The funding for two new Changing Places toilets will go a long way in meeting the needs of visitors to Stowmarket and Stradbroke, as well as those visiting Needham Lake which also has a new Changing Places facility.”