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Building a place for all – how we’re improving accessibility for customers at Kingsmead Leisure Centre

We’re improving the leisure experience for the people of Canterbury – and that includes making sure Kingsmead Leisure Centre is available to everyone.  

For each stage of the project, we’ve put ourselves in the shoes (or trainers) of our customers to consider what they might need to make the most of their time with us. 

Is it easy to get around in a wheelchair? Are the doors wide enough to get through? Is there enough space in the changing room? How difficult is it to get in the pool? Is the signage easy to read? 

Giles Seaford, Sport and Community Development Manager, said: “These and more are the kind questions we are always asking ourselves at Active Life, but the refurbishment of Kingsmead Leisure Centre has provided us with an opportunity to consider what else we can do. 

“It’s not just about doing the right thing for people who may have mobility issues or disabilities. There’s building rules and regulations to follow, and these can often change as the years go by.  

“What was fine 20 years ago may no longer be today and that helped to drive improvements that will be officially unveiled this September – and we can’t wait to share them with our customers.”

Among the changes, the entrance area will be fully accessibility compliant including doors that automatically open and lighting that makes the centre easier for the visually impaired to get around. 

There will be fully accessible toilets throughout the building and a new Changing Places facility in the pool changing area too. The accessible toilet will include a shower with a moveable hoist and other features. 

The wet side changing rooms have been completely rebuilt and re-configured with more space and improved disabled access. Having consulted the local Disability Advisory Panel, Active Life is also considering options to make it easier for people with mobility issues to access the swimming pool. 

Our exciting new look gym will have equipment that is IFI compliant. IFI stands for Inclusive Fitness Initiative, an industry wide accreditation aimed at improving accessibility for people with disabilities and mobility, allowing them to still use fitness equipment, where possible. 

“Our work to improve the centre has sought to capture and implement best practice in accessibility terms to give all our customers at Kingsmead Leisure Centre the best possible experience,” Giles added. 

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01227 769818