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Members of Eden Access for All Forum have been invited to conduct an access survey of Brougham Castle, just outside Penrith. The Forum was approached by site manager Chris Hogg, following a conversation with Eden District Council officer Sally Hemsley, whose responsibilities cover both tourism and equality.
The Forum has conducted several surveys of the main town centres of Eden in the past. They have worked with various local organisations and groups over the years to improve and develop accessibility together with disabled people’s rights in the Eden area.
The Forum welcomed the opportunity to work with English Heritage on the 13th century castle and site.
Forum Chair, Greg Sadler, said: “Obviously in the twelve hundreds the Equality Act and disabled access wasn’t exactly the first priority for medieval masons. There’s not much that can be done to make the castle itself more accessible, though we will look at ways of showing people the views, by either photographic or video means. Our main priority is to examine the site as a whole, the shop, car parking and pathways, from the point of view of all disabilities, to make the overall experience more accessible and enjoyable.”
Chris Hogg who manages Brougham Castle on behalf of English Heritage said: “English Heritage are pleased to welcome members of Eden Access for All Forum to Brougham Castle and I am sure we will be able to work together to improve the site for people with access issues.”
Councillor Gordon Nicolson, the Equality lead for Eden District Council welcomed the opportunity for partnership working: “As a result of ongoing support for both the Access Forum and local tourism attractions by the Council’s Communities Team, a fruitful partnership has been put in place which will benefit not only visitors but locals too. I would hope to see this type of project being repeated elsewhere in the district.”
The Eden Access Forum meets every two months at Mansion House in Penrith and welcomes new members at any time. The group is made up of people with a range of disabilities together with a selection of people with an interest in access and equality. It provides a great opportunity for networking and sharing experiences.
To find out more contact the Forum Chair, Greg Sadler email: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Eden District Council’s Communities Team telephone: 01768 817817.
Brougham Castle is currently open Saturdays and Sundays 10am-4pm until 28 March (closed over Christmas and New Year) with longer opening hours during the summer months. For more information visit www.visiteden.co.uk
Picture shows (Far Left) Chris Hogg, Site Manager at Brougham Castle welcomes Eden Access Forum members to conduct a access review, supported by (Centre) Sally Hemsley from Eden District Council’s Communities Team.