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Theatre’s toilet problem to be panned out in nationwide survey

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A nationwide survey on access to toilets in theatres has been launched.

The Association of British Theatre Technicians, which is running the survey, hopes it will help to address “issues of accessibility and inclusivity”.

Results will be used to improve official guidance on venues' toilet provision.

Theatres of all sizes from across the country are invited to fill out the survey, which can be accessed here.

The survey asks about the total number of toilets in each building as well as the level of audience capacity at which queuing for the toilets occurs, and the method of hand-drying available.

It also asks questions relating to the gender balance of the toilets and the amount of wheelchair space available.

Robin Townley, chief executive of ABTT, said: “We hope the survey will help address issues of access and inclusivity. It’s about seeing if and what amendments to the guidance are required.”

The survey has been launched by the standing committee for Technical Standards for Places of Entertainment, which is the recognised industry guidance for ensuring the safety and comfort of the public, staff and performers in performance venues. The committee is made up of ABTT, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, the District Surveyors Association and the Institute of Licensing.

A statement from the standing committee said: “As part of routine reviews, the editorial group seeks current feedback from venues of all types and sizes to ensure the guidance continues to achieve the right balance between need and provision.”

In 2016, the Theatres Trust launched the Spend a Penny scheme, which offered £125,000 for theatres to improve their female toilets provision. Recipients of the funding included the Lyme Regis Marine Theatre.

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