Cibes Lift UK has transformed the way visitors can access the Billingham Forum Leisure Centre in the North East.

The Teesside-based centre underwent a two year closure in 2009, in order to redesign and redecorate the 1960s venue. During this, Cibes Lift UK installed a Cibes A5000 platform lift into the venue’s Ice Arena, an area of the centre that did not have such access prior to 2009.

Previously, the Forum only had one lift located in the Theatre. This often meant that if it was broken, or if the theatre was closed, people with mobility issues could not access 80% of the centre’s first floor, restricting the activities they could do.

The addition of the platform lift has allowed all parts of the centre fully accessible including, the Ice Arena & swimming pool spectator areas, Go Climb and the various activity halls located on the first floor. The platform lift also provides an alternative means of getting theatre goers into the Theatre if the lift serving this area of the centre is out of action.

Anne  Restall, Deputy Manager at Billingham Forum, said: “We now have multiple users and organisations with mobility problems using the Forum every day of the week and it’s so important for them that the centre is fully accessible to ensure they enjoy their visit every time they visit or participate.

“The local Community Integrated Care initiative, which cares for adults with learning and physical disabilities, now use the Forum five days a week and have a dedicated room on the ground floor for their many members.

“The introduction of the platform lift has allowed them to participate in activities on the first floor and they even hold their bi-annual talent shows in the larger rooms on the first floor, which allows them to accommodate more spectators and thereby helps in vital fund raising.

“The Cibes A5000 lift has allowed the group full access of all activities that the centre has to offer and has truly changed the daily life of some of these adults.”

Another local charity SNAPS (Special Needs Activities with Parental Support) has benefitted greatly from the addition of Cibes UK’s platform lift.

SNAPS is now able to offer more activities to its members, such as the Forum’s exciting Go Climb experience, on top of their regular swimming and ice-skating sessions.  The platform lift has also allowed this group to spectate the Ice Arena and swimming pools from the respective balconies.

Prior to this, viewing and access for people with mobility problems or in wheelchairs was very difficult and viewing was restrictive, now they come as a large group and are able to fully view and enjoy the centre’s annual panto on ice.

Anne  added: “We’ve also been able to install wheelchair charging points upstairs for anyone who may wish to use them.  As well as offer a multitude of new activities to take into account different abilities.”

Billingham Forum’s platform lift is also maintained by Cibes Lift UK, which offers the centre its Gold Star package. The lift is therefore maintained four times a year, and any interim repairs are free for the centre.

Speak to Cibes Lift UK today about accessibility in your premises, call 0800 085 0269 or e-mail info@cibeslift.co.uk. 

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