The reimagined venue is complete with a Changing Places toilet facility.
By Dan Hicklin
The brand new Octagon Theatre is just one of a small number of buildings in Bolton to accommodate a Changing Places toilet, equipped with facilities that most standard accessible toilets do not provide.
Changing Places toilets are for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well as people with other physical disabilities such as spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis.
Over 250,000 people in the UK require the use of Changing Places toilets to enable them to enjoy day-to-day activities that many people take for granted.
The Changing Places facility provides adequate space for the user and up to two carers, is fitted with a height adjustable adult-sized changing bench, a tracking hoist system, a privacy screen and a shower, as well as a centrally placed toilet.
This new facility will make the venue more accessible and provide an enhanced visitor experience for people with disabilities, providing extra comfort and independence for them and their carers.
Octagon theatregoer Ian Brown, who is carer for his disabled son, Thomas, added: “As a family we love going to the theatre and we believe these multi-sensory experiences have played a massive part in our son Thomas’ development. However, like many disabled people, Thomas has quite complex toileting needs, this restricts massively where we can take him.
“It is simply incredible that the Octagon has listened to families like ours and included a Changing Places toilet as an integral part of their rebuild, offering comfort and dignity to all. This vital facility ensures that as he grows, Thomas and his sisters can continue to experience the magical, family friendly productions that the Octagon has to offer.”
The Changing Places facility was installed as part of the venue’s £12million redevelopment which has seen the complete modernisation of the entire building with updated performance spaces; brand-new participation facilities; improved front-of-house experience; and expanded backstage accommodation.