Emerald Headingley scores a ‘first’ for accessibility

Emerald Headingley Stadium has become what is believed to the UK’s first multi-sport international venue to be fully accessible – at least as far as its toilets are concerned.

As part of the venue’s £45m masterplan to become one of the finest sports venues in the world, the stadium has installed two Changing Places assisted accessible toilet facilities. The Changing Places give more space (12m2) and, alongside the usual fixtures of WC and washbasin, feature additional equipment – specifically a ceiling track hoist and adult-sized height adjustable changing bench, both of which have been supplied and installed by Closomat for G&H Building Services.

It means that fans of cricket and rugby – with or without disabilities – can go and watch matches including the ICC Cricket World Cup and Super League, and be able to use the toilet when needed. To optimise ease for those fans with disabilities, the Changing Places have been strategically positioned on each of the main concourses of the north and south stands.

Kelvin Grimes, Closomat away from home project manager, said: “Campaigners have worked hard to get these Changing Places included in the redevelopment. To our knowledge, no other international sports stadium outside of Wembley has permanent toilets. Let’s hope that others now follow Emerald Headingley’s example and try to include fans of all abilities.”

Under British Standards (BS8300:2015), it is best practice to provide a Changing Places toilet in addition to conventional accessible facilities in buildings where the public spend time. The government is also reviewing making them an obligatory requirement in new buildings or major refurbishments.