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Disabled facilities transformed in Copeland

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A state-of-the-art disabled changing area will be unveiled next week at the Copeland Pool and Fitness Centre.

The facility - funded by Copeland Borough Council and the Changing Places fund - will allow people with a wide range of disabilities to fully access the pool and gym in Hensingham. It includes a spacious shower, adult-sized changing table, a hoist and other facilities. It can also be used by disabled people and their carers who are in the area and need to change - even if they are not using the pool.

The pool and fitness centre is operated on Copeland Council's behalf by Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) under their 'Better' brand.

Copeland Mayor, Mike Starkie, said: "This is a top rate facility and it means our pool and gym is available for even more people to enjoy. This kind of partnership investment - in this case with Changing Places through the County Council - brings the best results and I am looking forward to seeing people using these changing rooms to keep fit and have fun."

Georgina Ternent, Cumbria County Council’s Public Health Manager for Copeland, added: “I’m delighted we’ve been able to support and invest in these new facilities, and it’s great to see the difference they can make. Disabled people can face serious challenges getting out and about and enjoying the day-to-day activities many of us take for granted. These new facilities should make a huge difference to disabled leisure centre users and their families.”

Derek Jones, Partnership Manager for GLL, said: “We are very proud to be working in partnership with Copeland Borough Council. As a not for profit social enterprise, this new and fantastic facility will support one of our main objectives, for more people to become more active, more often both in and out of leisure facilities.”

The changing room has plenty of space for wheelchair users and lots of safety measures such as underfloor heating. Care has been taken to use visually contrasting colours for various surfaces, to help the visually impaired. There are also two new disabled parking spaces.

The project was funded by around £45,000 from Copeland Borough Council and £15,000 from the Changing Places fund, drawn down by Cumbria County Council.

This scheme project supports Copeland Council's core value of 'treating everyone equally, fairly and with respect,' and supports the council's pledge to 'continually review services to ensure they meet the needs of Copeland and ensure they are efficient and effective.

The media is invited to attend the official opening, on Tuesday May 16 at 1.30pm at Copeland Pool and Fitness Centre, Cleator Moor Road, CA28 8RW. If you would like to attend please contact one of the communications officers as detailed in Editor's Notes.