Luton Borough Council and Active Luton are appealing to people with disabilities to come and try out the facilities at the new £26 million sports village when it opens in August.
Cllr Hazel Simmons, Leader of the Council said: “Our goal is to encourage as many people as possible to get fit and develop healthier lifestyles. We know that some people with disabilities find it difficult to keep active because of lack of suitable facilities or inadequate access but Inspire: Luton Sports Village has been specially designed so that people of all abilities can easily move around the building and can access all that is on offer at the centre.”
The sports village has been specifically designed to ensure all its facilities can be accessed by wheelchair users and disabled people starting from outside the building with free car parking and dedicated blue badge parking spaces, to a level access entrance with automatic main doors and wheelchair users will also have direct access through the barrier. There is also a highly visible reception desk featuring a drop level section, wide corridors and accessible changing rooms, toilets and showers as well as wheelchair spaces in the spectators’ gallery.
The accessible changing rooms are located together for easier use by groups and also include a bed and hoist, with enough room for two carers. The benches have also been developed at 450mm deep to allow easy transfer from a wheelchair.
Active Luton is committed to ensuring the services it provides are inclusive and meet the needs of the disabled people and their carers. Active Communities oversee the delivery of Access2Sport, a children and young people's disability sports project, which offers a wide range of community based afterschool activities including dance, multi-sports and football.
Helen Barnett, Chief Executive, Active Luton said: “Although we provide a small number of activities specifically for children and young people with disabilities via our Active Communities programme, our main aim is to ensure we provide suitable facilities and activities that are inclusive, thereby meeting the needs of all our users.”
Cllr Simmons added: “I urge everyone to come to Inspire and try out the facilities, having a disability will not be a barrier to getting fit at the centre.”