One of Blackpool’s leading tourist attractions has been hailed as “leading the way” for disabled access by a Government minster.
The Sandcastle Waterpark, one of five venues nationwide to be singled out for praise, was visited by disabilities minister Sarah Newton yesterday.
She said: “Sandcastle is a shining example of a leisure centre doing the right thing and making sure it is accessible to people with a range of disabilities.
“Its quiet room, wheelchair accessible water equipment and the commitment and skills of its staff to support its disabled customers is very impressive.
“I’m calling on others in the tourism industry to follow their lead and put visitors’ needs at the heart of their services.”
Coun Graham Cain, chairman of the Sandcastle Waterpark board, said: “We are so proud that Sandcastle Waterpark is leading the way in providing the best possible service for disabled people.
“We regularly receive feedback from families who are overwhelmed by the facilities in place but also, more importantly, the way that the staff treat them and ensure that their visit is as straight-forward as possible.
“The Sandcastle is incredibly popular with visitors of all ages and there’s no reason why anyone should miss out.”
The minster also visited Blackpool Transport to see the new disabled-friendly buses.
Jane Cole, managing director at Blackpool Transport said “Blackpool is becoming one of the most accessible resorts in the UK for disabled people.
“We have invested £22m to ensure that our bus and tram system is fully accessible, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the sights and sounds of Blackpool.”
Making Blackpool accessible for disabled people
Sarah Newton saw the new state-of-the-art Palladium E400 bus, left, including a facility to help people get on and off.
Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden said: “I am pleased to see the minister taking a keen interest in the excellent work being done by both Blackpool Transport and the Sandcastle
Waterpark to make the lives of disabled people easier. I know both companies, owned by Blackpool Council, over the years have shown a real commitment to both residents and visitors with disabilities.”
Campaigner Stephen Brookes said: “I’m pleased the minister was able to see the work we’ve done to make Blackpool accessible to everybody.”