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Preston signs up for a better shopping environment for disabled people

Posted on - 19th October, 2018 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Business, City Centre, Preston City Centre, Preston News, What's On in Preston
Those in a wheelchair often face difficulties in city centres Pic: Sgenet
Those in a wheelchair often face difficulties in city centres Pic: Sgenet

Disabled shoppers are to be fully welcomed across the city for the first ‘Purple Tuesday’.

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Part of a nationwide day of action by shops and shopping centres it aims to ensure shopping is an inclusive experience.

Businesses in Preston are being urged to sign up to an ‘accessibility charter’ which shows their commitment to creating a better shopping environment for those with disabilities.

Shops taking part include nationwide chains such as Argos, Marks and Spencer’s, Sainsbury’s and in the city St George’s Shopping Centre has also signed up.

Manager of the shopping centre Andrew Stringer said: “St Georges are proud to be a key partner in bringing Purple Tuesday to Preston. As an inclusive shopping centre, we are constantly looking for ways to create a more accessible environment for shoppers.

“As a team, we are fully behind the campaign and our ambassadors on the day will be identifiable by their purple t-shirts and will be on hand to assist shoppers with their specific needs.”

Preston Business Improvement District is backing the day and holding a free workshop for city centre firms to find out more about creating an accessible environment.

Read more: Guide dog owner tells of Fishergate shared space horror

Preston BID’s Mark Whittle said: “Accessibility can be improved through a variety of methods, not all of which require a significant investment, or infrastructure works.

“Improvements could include better signage, store layout changes or the promotion of ‘quiet hours’ for users who may feel more comfortable shopping at less-busy times etc.

“We are delighted to be working with city centre partners in supporting our local businesses to adapt their offer and further engage with members of our community with specific needs.”

Purple Tuesday is on Tuesday 13 November.

It is being backed by Preston Mobility Centre and Disability Equality North West.

Read more: Changing Places toilet opens in Preston Bus Station

Joe Hannett from the mobility centre said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be working on Purple Tuesday with St Georges, Preston BID and Disability Equality NW. Along with the launch of the new Changing Places toilet facility, this is a powerful statement of intent for the future retail and leisure experience in Preston.

“Improving access is about improving the environment for all of us, as well as promoting thoughtfulness in store design and everyday customer service, bravo Preston.”

The training session for city centre businesses takes place at St George’s shopping centre from 10am to 11.45am on the day. Anyone who wants a free place can email bid@lancschamber.co.uk.

Read more: Church Street and Fishergate bus shelters being changed – so they are easier to see

Are you disabled? Or have a friend or relative who is? What do you think of shopping in the city centre? Let us know in the comments below

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