Preston city centre opened up for disabled access thanks to new Changing Places facility

Campaigner Rosemary McLean with her daughter Hollie, and staff from Preston Mobility Centre
Campaigner Rosemary McLean with her daughter Hollie, and staff from Preston Mobility Centre
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A new ‘Changing Places’ facility has opened in Preston city centre for people with disabilities.

The new unit, installed beside Preston Mobility Centre in Friargate, offers a facility with additional equipment, such as a hoist, privacy screen, non-slip flooring and a changing bench.

The unveiling by disability campaigner Rosemary McLean and her daughter Hollie, came as organisations signed up to a City Charter - a commitment to making shops and businesses more accessible to users with mobility issues.

Mark Whittle, Business Improvement District (BID) Manager said the charter was a “launchpad” on which the city can build.

He said: “We are committed, in the long-term, to working with experts to ensure that visiting Preston, and moving around city centre businesses, is as easy as possible for members of the community with specialist mobility needs.”

Joe Hannet, Preston Mobility Centre manager said: “This is a great start.

“I’m over the moon with the commitment to a more inclusive future from the retail sector in Preston, the leadership shown by St George’s Centre and BID. Kudos also to the retailers who sent staff to today’s awareness event.

“We’ll learn from today and make sure this embeds in the retail offer for Preston going forward.”

Andrew Stringer, centre manager at St George’s said: “As a team we have been focused on raising awareness to create a more accessible environment for shoppers, our activities on the day included an accessibility awareness workshop plus all our ambassadors, identifiable by their purple t-shirts, were on hand to assist shoppers with their specific needs.”

It is estimated that there are approximately 27,000 people living in and around the city who have a disability or impairment.