The Laverton is a historic Victorian building in the heart of Westbury, Wiltshire. It serves as the town council's headquarters and now, thanks to a £100,000 refurbishment, doubles as a multi-function venue and community centre. Local schools, churches, groups and businesses use the Laverton for exhibitions, displays, cultural activities, meetings and training sessions.
The council wants to ensure the building is accessible to the elderly and people with physical impairments. Indeed, as the Laverton is a public venue this is required under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). A movemanSKG Prestige platform lift allows wheelchair users to reach a large hall on the first floor.
John Parker, Westbury Town Council's Project Officer, explains; "Our aim is to increase the Laverton's usage as a community centre and we are currently sourcing an additional £200,000 through grant funding to develop the building further over the next three years. Disabled access is a top priority for Westbury Town Council and we fully support the DDA. movemanSKG's platform lift gets regular use and is essential to the normal operation of the Laverton."
The Laverton is Grade II* listed because of its age and historical significance. This means laws restrict physical changes to the building. For this reason, the council opted for movemanSKG's Prestige wheelchair lift. Prestige is freestanding, has its own self-containing shaft, and requires no wall, supporting structure or pit. This minimises building work, making it perfect for listed buildings.
The Laverton's Prestige travels over four metres between the two floors. movemanSKG has modified the lift in order to comply with the new Machinery Directive, which came into effect in January. Changes include an improved console design, illuminated tactile carriage controls with Braille indication, and an emergency battery lowering system. The unit also has semi-automatic call buttons at the landings. These replace the old continuous pressure call buttons.
John continued; "Prestige is robust, easy to use, and reliable. It has a large platform that comfortably accommodates a wheelchair user plus a carer and lifts up to 400kg. The lift has an attractive cream finish, which means it blends perfectly with its surroundings. The installation took just a few days and movemanSKG was a pleasure to deal with."