Bars, restaurants and visitor attractions in Liverpool are being encouraged to join a new charter mark scheme and make their venues as inclusive as possible. Tony McDonough reports
A new ‘Inclusive Places’ Mayoral Charter Mark is being launched in Liverpool today (Tuesday, May 3) to encourage hospitality venues and visitor attractions to be more inclusive.
It is designed to help businesses across the visitor economy understand the requirements of deaf, disabled and neurodivergent individuals, by building equality into all elements of the experiences for guests and visitors.
The scheme shows the individual features of each location, focused around communication, physical and sensory access. The aims are to:
- Highlight and improve accessibility and inclusive practice within the hospitality, culture and events sectors.
- Raise awareness of the barriers that exist.
- Highlight and encourage training for staff.
- Ensure new buildings and planned refurbishments have good access.
Each organisation signing up to the charter mark, will commit to creating and implementing a plan to achieve best practice accessibility in the most appropriate way. It has been trialled by National Museums Liverpool across its seven venues including the Museum of Liverpool and the Lady Lever Art Gallery.
They already offer sensory tours and inclusion days, are about to launch tours for people who would prefer to access venues out of hours, have a dedicated programme for babies at several museums and galleries and have developed a breastfeeding charter.
By signing up to the charter, organisations agree to operate to the following principles:
- Welcoming people regardless of their differences in age, agility, mobility, senses or perception.
- Welcoming people with children in buggies, prams, and pushchairs.
- Welcoming mums who want to breastfeed.
- Recognising that people with certain conditions are excluded by poor design of places and systems.
- Committing to equality awareness staff training.
Assistant Mayor and Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy, Cllr Harry Doyle, said: “Liverpool attracts millions of visitors every year and we want each one of them to have the best possible experience while they are here, including when planning visits to the city.
“We want our city to become a model of best-practice accessibility, through our community and business leaders advocating for places and spaces that are accessible for all.”
And director of National Museums Liverpool, Laura Pye, added: “The Charter Mark is a very important recognition of our commitment to inclusivity, and ensures that this remains central to all of our work.”