Shrewsbury venues to improve accessibility
Two popular entertainment venues are to become more accessible to people with hidden disabilities and mental health issues.
Shropshire Council has opened a public consultation on accessibility at Theatre Severn and the Old Market Hall cinema, both in Shrewsbury.
The consultation gives people the opportunity to give feedback on proposed changes to the services at the two venues and suggest improvements.
Shropshire Council is looking to improve access for people with less visible conditions like anxiety, autism or dementia, making the experience of going to the theatre or cinema more inclusive.
This includes making it easier to book tickets by providing online booking to all.
The consultation also asks for views on the current offer at both venues for people who may need further assistance. The consultation says: “A review is necessary because we believe that the arrangements currently in place could be inadequate and we’re keen to remove any unnecessary barriers to booking their services.
“If deaf, visually impaired, disabled people and wheelchair users can’t book their seats online, they may be disadvantaged and discriminated against by the venues, and our primary objective is to level this and offer online booking to all.
"This local work is taking place alongside theatres and venues nationally looking at adopting revised access policies.”
It says the new policy will be focused on need rather than income. The feedback will help to shape future policy around making Theatre Severn and the Old Market Hall more accessible.
Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council cabinet member for culture, leisure, waste and communications, said: “Theatre Severn and the Old Market Hall are continuing to grow in popularity, attracting more than 250,000 people to Shrewsbury in 2018.
“However, it is highly important that we ensure both venues are open and inclusive for people with conditions that are not always visible and I’m pleased that measures are being put in place to improve access.
"I would strongly encourage you to take part in this consultation and help us shape accessibility to both venues.”
The consultation will be open until November 29 and is available to complete online at news room.shropshire.gov.uk/2019/10/council-accessi bility-consultation/ or paper copies are available at both venues.