Banbury's Changing Place on track

Cllr Illott with Kat Allsworth, daughter Freya and Accessible Banbury members
Cllr Illott with Kat Allsworth, daughter Freya and Accessible Banbury members

New hoardings have been erected in Castle Quay in preparation for the opening of the new Changing Places toilet facility.

The toilets are the culmination of over two years of campaigning by Accessible Banbury, a group comprised of parents of disabled adult children, and will allow, for the first time, unencumbered access to the town centre on their doorstep.

Kat Allsworth, who has been at the forefront of the campaign with her disabled daughter Freya, said: "It's so exciting. I have never been so excited about a toilet in my life. There will be restaurants and cinemas in the new CQ2 and Lock29 and it means we can go there knowing that I can change Freya.

"We can just be normal."

The specially fitted out changing space have all the necessary equipment needed to safely and efficiently change an adult confined to a wheelchair, such as a height adjustable changing bench and a hoist.

The facility is due to open at the end of November and is on track to do so.

Cherwell District Councillor, Tony Illott, first proposed the idea to the planning committee.

He said: "It is going to be a great boost to the town. I put a motion to council regarding this so I am delighted it has come to fruition.

"The reason I was so keen is that I have friend of mine who desperately needs this type of facility."

With the canal side Castle Quay development progressing a pace and Lock29 just five months away from completion Banbury will soon be a destination town.

Cllr Illott added: "This is another positive step down the road. The feedback I am getting is everything is on schedule and to plan, there is nothing that should hold us up so it's looking good."