It’s a year since Copeland and GLL opened their fully disabled-accessible changing area at Copeland Pool.
The state-of-the-art facility is proving popular both with gym and pool users, and visitors to the area who need to use an accessible change area or toilet.
Coun Mark Holliday, Copeland’s portfolio holder for Customers and Communities, said: “The changing room, shower and toilet has meant people with a wide range of disabilities have used the pool and gym this year who might not otherwise have been able to.
“It is used most weekdays by gym and pool users and is also available for visitors who need full adult changing and showering facilities. They can use the room without being a user of the pool or gym, so it’s useful for visitors to the area.”
Derek Jones, Copeland Partnership Manager with GLL, said: "Removing barriers to participation is very important in enabling more people to improve their lives. We are delighted with the success of the facility and look to build on this success as part of future projects."
Gillian Elliot of Cumbria County Council said: "I’m delighted we’ve been able to make this investment and it’s great to see the difference it 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 facilities are making a huge difference to disabled pool and fitness centre users and their families.”
The development also includes a hoist to allow people with a range of disabilities to get into the pool, plus some extra disability parking spaces.
The changing room was funded by Copeland Borough Council and Cumbria County Council. Coun Holliday added: “This project was a great example of partnership working and it’s been great to see it so well used. It means everyone can access our facilities for fun and fitness, regardless of their disability.”
The pool and fitness centre is operated on Copeland Council's behalf by Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) under their 'Better' brand.