A NEW £56,700 Changing Places facility  has opened in Settle to improve access for all those who are unable to use standard public toilets.

The new toilet in the Limestone View Extra Care scheme, which is run by Housing 21 for North Yorkshire Council, includes specialist equipment such as hoists, curtains, adult-sized changing benches and space for carers.

Free to use by both residents and visitors, it  was created following calls from the community  and was paid for out of £49,200  from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund and £7,500 from North Yorkshire Council.

Organisations, including Dementia Forward, Age UK North Craven, The Place Settle and Settle Town Council, identified Limestone View as a suitable venue as it is a supported housing site, acts as a community hub, hosts the town’s library, provides a range of community activities and is next to a car parks.

A former toilet has been renovated at the site which also has staff on hand that understand how to use the equipment and can help users if necessary.

Cllr David Staveley, who represents Settle and Penyghent on North Yorkshire Council, said: “It has been a real community effort to get this facility in place for local people and visitors. “We have enjoyed support from a range of local disability groups, forums and individual residents, and by working together we managed to get this project delivered and bring a welcome addition to the town.”

The new facility was made possible thanks to Housing 21 and their staff who are accommodating the unit.

Cllr Michael Harrison, the council's executive member for health and adult services added: “This facility is available for everyone to use whether living in the Dales or visiting and we thank Housing 21 for finding the space to accommodate it.”

A key ambition of Housing 21’s Extra Care schemes is to ensure they are an integrated part of the local community, and not an isolated development.

Housing 21’s extra care registered manager, Jane Beresford, said: “This project is a great example of how we are achieving that ambition by working in partnership with other organisations for the benefit of the community and those who visit the area, positioning Limestone View and its on-site amenities right at its heart and improving accessibility for all to this beautiful area of the country.”

Muscular Dystrophy UK provided guidance and support on the installation. Its Changing Places manager, Karen Hoe, said: “We are delighted to see a new Changing Places toilet installed at Limestone View and recognise the difference it is going to make to many within the community.”

The facility is registered on https://www.changing-places.org/find?toilet=2449