Marwell Wildlife installed a Changing Places facility in a bid to provide world class facilities to all its visitors. The facility has opened up a new revenue stream through attracting additional and longer visits by disabled people, says Simon Cox, Guest Operations Director.

We were getting quite a few guests with severe disabilities visiting us but only spending a few hours here as we didn’t have the facilities they require.

Our hilly site may present issues for disabled groups and the elderly. We looked at how we could be inviting to all these groups, which may not think of us as a place to visit.

Changing Places wasn’t even on our radar. We were approached by the father of a son with Cerebral Palsy who loved coming here but found it difficult to use us and he suggested we put in a CP facility. He wanted to visit us more often with his son.

We track admissions and we have seen an increase in people who buy disabled tickets since we opened the facility. For example, one annual member who has a carer now comes a lot more and by having the facilities we hope to convert more disabled people to annual members.

When people visit for only two hours they typically bring a flask and go home for lunch but we are now certainly getting more spend in the cafés from disabled people.

You can build the greatest exhibit in the world but if you come here and you can’t use the toilet facility because it is not suitable, then that isn’t world class.