Pub Company III has this week announced an investment of £250,000 across all 7 of its outlets to make them more accessible for the wider community, including its patrons with specialist needs.
The announcement came at the unveiling of their new ‘Changing Places toilet’ at the Wheel Inn, in Scone.
The ‘Changing Places toilet’ at The Wheel Inn is the first of its kind housed in a Scottish pub. The facility differs from a standard disabled bathroom, with additional space and specialist equipment to cater for patrons with a wide range of complex physical disabilities.
Jim Taylor MBE, from rugby injury support charity, Hearts and Balls, officially marked the group’s new commitment to inclusivity.
Jim Taylor MBE says,“This investment represents an amazing effort from Thistle Pub Company to make all of their customers feel included and catered for.
“Small measures like larger lettering on signage and a lower bar for wheelchair access are simple and effective ways to make the lives of so many Scottish people, so much easier.”
Jim was joined by representatives from a variety of Scottish charities and support groups, including Deafblind Scotland and PAMIS who alongside the general public, will have access to the new sensory room free of charge.
The group is also in the process of making additional changes across its other six sites; including the installation of lower bar areas for wheelchair access, larger lettering on signage, side lights on walkways, as well as Deafblind Scotland providing specialist training for all managers and assistant managers.
Thistle Pub Company Chairman, Alan Stewart, said, “Last year, the Business Disability Forum found that three quarters (75 per cent) of disabled people, from a poll of 2,000, said they and their families have stopped spending money at restaurants, and other businesses, as a result of poor service and a lack of disability awareness.
“We have always aimed to provide a warm and welcoming environment for all our customers with a good food and drink offering.
“These renovations will go a long way to fulfilling our ethos of serving the widest community possible. We hope that the new facilities will ensure that families and friends from all walks of life have an enjoyable experience when they visit us.”
Ruth Dorman, Chief Executive at Deafblind Scotland adds: “Thistle Pub Company III is setting a wonderful example to the rest of the leisure and hospitality industry in Scotland.
“The renovations will instantly make it easier for patrons living with a wide range of physical impairments including deafblindness to enjoy their time at the pub.”