SERIOUSLY disabled people are to get new access to specialist loos –  thanks to a council cash pledge.

South Lakeland District Council committed £50,000 towards special Changing Places toilets which are bigger and better equipped than traditional loos for disabled people.

Eight bids were submitted and four met the criteria for cash to pay for feasibility studies.

Three applicants now plan to provide changing places toilets in Cartmel, Kendal and Millerground, Windermere. All three will also be granted £20,000 to help their project become a reality.

Cllr Giles Archibald, the Liberal Democrat member for Kendal Town, told a meeting of SLDC: “These are toilets for seriously disabled people and we have spoken previously about the difficulty these people face travelling around the area because of a lack of changing places toilets.

“Here we are, a World Heritage Site destination and it really is embarrassing. It really is important we get more of these facilities.”

“I am delighted that we have found communities who are willing to put in the time, and we should support them with the financial resources to make these happen.”

Kendal only had two facilities – one at the leisure centre, and the other at Westmorland General Hospital, Kendal.

The nearest such loo for Ulverston residents is at Fell Foot, Newby Bridge, or Furness General Hospital.

Across the country, the Government estimates 250,000 people need them yet there are just over 1,300 in place, including just one in South Lakeland, which is at Kendal Leisure Centre.

The toilets, for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well people with other physical disabilities such as spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis.

Much larger than standard disabled toilets, they are fitted with extra equipment to allow people to use them safely and comfortably.

Each toilet provides a height-adjustable adult-sized changing bench, a tracking or mobile hoist; adequate space for the disabled person and upto two carers and a centrally placed loo with a privacy curtain.