New inclusive public convenience facilities were opened yesterday and are now available for shoppers to use in Macclesfield town centre.
Cheshire East Council and Macclesfield Town Council have worked together to upgrade the toilet facilities at Macclesfield indoor market, to make them suitable for public use.
The facility includes a brand-new Changing Places Toilet, a new unisex toilet/baby changing facility as well as male and female toilets for public use. The facility has been funded by Macclesfield Town Council, a Changing Places grant, government funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund with a contribution from the council.
Changing Places Toilets (CPTs) are a large facility that have the right equipment, including a changing bench and hoist to support disabled people that need assistance.
Councillor Mick Warren, chair of Cheshire East Council’s environment and communities committee said:
“I realise that it has been a little while in coming and I am very grateful to Macclesfield residents for their patience and for local ward members for championing this.
“It’s not a statutory requirement that we provide public toilets, and the council continues to face significant financial challenges, but we are of course also very much aware that the need for these facilities has become greater since Marks & Spencer closed.
Without the council receiving these grants in addition to the significant financial contribution from the town council, none of this could have been achieved, so I would like to extend my gratitude to all those that have helped to make this happen.
“It was important that when we were in a position to provide these facilities, that we got it right. These public conveniences are very central and suitable for everyone and will be well appreciated by residents and the local business community alike.”
Councillor Fiona Wilson, Macclesfield town centre champion, said:
“The town council has been listening to residents and local businesses and has been working hard to provide toilets in the town centre. We are delighted that this project, funded by the town council, has now been completed and delivered public toilets in the town centre, along with unisex baby changing facilities and a fully accessible Changing Places toilet, the first one in Macclesfield town centre.
“This will make a huge difference to the lives of so many families. This is all part of our strategy to improve the town centre within the town council’s abilities, including Glow up Grants for the shops, a wide range of free events in the town and support for the revived Totally Locally group of local independent businesses.”
Fiona Walton, a local resident who has a son with additional needs, said:
"Having an official Changing Places toilet right in the heart of the town centre will mean the world to us and other families that are affected with special and additional needs.
“The fact is that the percentage of disabled people compared to babies is much greater, yet every disabled toilet we come across only has a changing table with a maximum weight of 15kg. There needs to be far more awareness about the fact that not everyone becomes toilet trained within this weight.
“There will be no more disappointment of opening the door to a ‘disabled’ toilet only to find a standard toilet with a few grab rails. No more straining and risking our own bodies lifting someone that cannot get up for themselves. No more lying our child on a toilet floor. No more cutting our outings short as there are insufficient facilities. Thank you so much, you have made a lot of people’s lives a lot easier."
The facility was opened yesterday and is accessible in the indoor market in the Grosvenor Centre. It will be open at all times when the market is open – Monday to Wednesday 9am-5pm and Thursday to Saturday 9am-5.30pm.
After a period of consultation, the old public conveniences at Park Green that had more restricted hours, have closed.