BASILDON Sporting Village has been praised for its state-of-art disabled access.

The leisure centre, off Cranes Farm Road, has been officially recognised as an Assisted Facility offering superb access to people with disabilities. The accreditation, from the Changing Places Consortium, comes on the back of £9,500 of investment by Essex County Council.

It comes as the authority aims to make all public facilities across the county accessible to all.

Works at Basildon Sporting Village, which is run by Everyone Active, were completed at the end of March and included the renovation of an existing disabled toilet.

Dick Madden, county councillor responsible for children and families, said: “These facilities make a huge difference to the accessibility of Basildon Sporting Village and I am delighted we were able to support such an excellent project.

“We are committed to ensuring people with disabilities can enjoy the same leisure opportunities as everyone else and are pleased to have helped fund a number of Changing Places across Essex.

“The improvements make it possible for a higher percentage of the community to visit the centre and they also mean it is listed on the Changing Places website, so anybody trying to find accessible facilities will be signposted there.”

Since 2012, Basildon Sporting Village has been hosting Sport For Confidence, a social enterprise dedicated to provision of physical activity programmes for people with and without learning disabilities.

It was the founder and senior occupational therapist at Sport For Confidence, Lyndsey Barrett, who originally asked Essex County Council for help to improve disabled access.

She said: “The renovations and the resulting recognition by Changing Places will enable even more of the community to enjoy the superb leisure facilities on offer at the centre.

“The centre was built as part of the Paralympic legacy and the fact that more people with a disability will now be able to enjoy what is has to offer is incredibly good news.”

Garry Firth, centre manager, added: “The investment in facilities has been most welcome and we support every effort to help more people lead an active life style.Now Changes Places has given the centre formal recognition, I hope more people with a disability will come along and enjoy the incredible facilities and services on offer.”

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