Cinderford Town Council are looking to invest in the old HSBC building in the town centre as part of their plan to boost the local economy. The project also aims to make a “Changing Places” toilet available to make Cinderford more accessible for people with complex disabilities.
Following Cllr Witham’s report to council in July, “Improving the High Street, Supporting Local Businesses”, councillors identified the opportunity to make the HSBC site a new focal point for the Triangle to drive footfall, provide opportunities for startup businesses and showcase the heritage of the town. Initial plans include establishing a changing places toilet, retail space for pop-up shops and space for historical exhibits.
Cinderford Town Council are seeking public approval to borrow £200,000 from the PWLB (Public Works Loan Board) in order to purchase the building and complete the required work. There would be no increase in precept to fund the loan repayments. To have your say, please complete our online survey.
Cllr Chris Witham said, “The loan from purchasing the Belle Vue Centre will be paid off this year and now seems like a great time to be able to further invest in the future of our town without having to increase council tax to pay for it.”
Butcher Cameron Swaine said “I genuinely think it’s a fantastic idea. It would be great to see some positive movement in the town instead of shops closing and the public running it down all the time. I think if you gave independent retailers/locals a scheme where they could have really cheap rent for a year at the new bank, with the idea to then move into one of the empty shops following a successful year, that would give people a really good head start”
Pop up shops offer an easy, low-cost way for burgeoning businesses to take their first steps and offer a great way to get new and different shops into local areas. They have been fundamental in reinvigorating other towns looked at by councillors and can provide new ventures with a stepping stone to taking on their own premises.
Standard accessible toilets meet the needs of some disabled people – but not all. Over 230,000 of people living in the UK need personal assistance to use the toilet or change continence pads. This includes people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, some people who have had a severe stroke, some people with acquired head injuries and some older people.
They – and their families and carers – need Changing Places toilets to be able to take part in their communities. But many face a daily challenge to leave their homes because this basic need is not met in most big public places. There are only a small number of public Changing Places toilets in the UK.
Changing Places toilets provide: The right equipment including, a height adjustable changing bench and a tracking hoist system. A safe and clean environment with adequate space in the changing area for the disabled person and up to two carers.