Covering an area of some 562 square kilometres, Leeds is the second largest metropolitan district in the UK. Leeds City Council is committed to ensuring that the disabled element of the areas 700,000 residents have equal access to its buildings and services. Within the councils Leisure Services Department this policy has resulted in access improvements to three local Leisure Centres. Movement Management, the UK's leading supplier of disabled access platform lifts, won the contract to install its popular Companion Prestige model at two of these centres, Rothwell and Aireborough.
The Prestige is specifically designed for use by the less able and is a totally self contained unit with its own enclosure. The only building work normally required is a shallow pit of 50mm. However, in these particular cases the units are surface mounted with ramped access to the ground floor entrances.
Like all other lifts supplied by Movement Management, the Prestige carries the CE mark. This is a declaration of conformity with the stringent safety standards laid down in the Machinery Directive (98/37/EC). It also meets the requirements of Part M, the section of the UK building regulations covering disabled access. For example it has a platform size of 1500 x 1100 mm as standard. Another requirement is that the control buttons are tactile, making it easier for those with sensory impairment to summon and direct the lift.
The two lifts are sited in the leisure centres' reception areas and provide access to facilities on the upper floors. Both units have lift heights over three metres and are fitted with glass panels in the entrance doors and shaft walls. The Prestige installed at the Aireborough site has through doors. The unit at Rothwell has adjacent entry at the upper level to suit the buildings layout.
Commenting on the installations, Paul Moseley, who is the Disability Sports Development Officer at Leeds City Councils Leisure Services Department, says. "As well as giving access to buildings, it's just as important to give access to all services within buildings. These new lifts will open up our full range of facilities to all individuals. At Rothwell Leisure Centre, for example, everyone will now have access to the viewing gallery, function rooms, bar, cafe and nursery."
"Installing the Movement Management lifts is part of an ongoing access strategy to ensure that our Sports Division meets the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act, using money from Leeds City Councils Access Fund."
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