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Accessible facilities

To help designers, building owners and operators meet their design and operational obligations, we've produced guidance on accessible sports facilities.

Our Accessible Sports Facilities Design Guidance Note gives a greater general understanding of overall design concepts, technical issues and the factors that need to be considered during the designing and planning stages. 

The guide will also help meet the following obligations under The Equality Act 2010:

  • BS 8300: 2009 Design of buildings and their approaches to meet the needs of disabled people – Code of practice
  • Building Regulations Approved Document M: 2004 access to and use of buildings, and Sport England’s requirements.  

The Accessible Sports Facilities guide (formerly known as Access for Disabled People), was first published in 2010 and represents the current requirements you’ll need to meet when creating accessible sports facilities. Since the publication of the guide, the audit checklists have been updated to support the guidance notes. 

These are in the form of a separate document which will help you:

  • Audit a new or existing facility
  • Assess accessibility 
  • Help identify and avoid barriers that might otherwise limit the use of the facility by disabled people.
Children playing cricket

Dementia-friendly sport and physical activity

Around 850,000 people in the UK live with dementia, and ensuring they face no barriers when becoming or remaining active is a challenge. Leisure pursuits, including physical activity, are among the top activities people with dementia want to do, but there are a range of barriers that prevent them from taking part.

By becoming dementia-friendly, leisure centres, gyms, sports clubs and community centres can reap the benefits, which include:

  • An improved customer experience
  • Increased revenue
  • Better staff retention 
  • Being able to help those with dementia to live happier, healthier lives.

As part of our collaboration with the Richmond Group of Charities, we’ve funded a project by the Alzheimer's Society looking into the barriers faced by people living with dementia as they try to take part in sport and be physically active.

The Dementia-friendly Sport and Physical Activity Guide details how providers can become dementia-friendly, thanks to evidence gathered as part of the project. We’re equipping the sport and physical activity sector with the resources and knowledge they require to unite against dementia.

The project as a whole is part of our £1.3 million investment of National Lottery money into the Richmond Group of Charities, who work with those with long-term health conditions to help them get active.

To access the guide, click the link below, from where you’ll be taken to the official Alzheimer’s Society page. You’ll need to complete a short form online to download the document. 

Dementia-Friendly Sport and Physical Activity guide

Wayfinding and signage

This guidance covers the principles of good wayfinding and signage for community sports centres. It takes a strategic approach from the early design stages to create user-friendly and easily operated sport facilities. 

We also provide an example based on our Affordable Sports Halls guidance, which covers accessible changing rooms, as well as a template drawn from our Wet and Dry Facilities guidance.

You can use these as templates when developing solutions for your individual projects alongside a range of design plans for a variety of changing rooms and shower areas taken from the main Accessible Sports Facilities guide.  

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