Albion are delighted to announce that the Club have now completed improvements at The Hawthorns as recommended by the Accessible Stadia guide.
This second and final phase of the recommended changes form part of the Premier League’s commitment to improved accessible stadia facilities.
Among the changes are an increase in wheelchair bays from 145 to 171, the recommended number for The Hawthorns’ capacity.
Accessible access in the concourses, a sensory area, accessible area and Changing Places toilets are also among the renovations which have seen Albion work closely with our own Disabled Supporters Club.
Their Chairman Kevin Candon joined his club’s treasurer Stephen Brettle and Albion’s Director of Operations Mark Miles - along with Albion Foundation Senior Disability Development Officer Paul Hunt - for a tour of the improvements this week and was delighted with the progress.
“Looking at the finished product, it is absolutely superb,” said Kevin. “You couldn’t wish for anything more. Absolutely first class.
“This is the welcome you want when you come into your club. This club has gone beyond what they had to do for us.
“And that’s not just a home fan’s point of view. The away fans accessibility area has been increased. A lot of clubs don’t look after the away fans but we can really start now.
“The club kept us informed at every single stage. I don’t know a lot of clubs that would do that. This club deserves the credit that it’s due.”
And Stephen added: “It’s a Premier League club now with Premier League facilities. The accessibility positions tick all the boxes.”
Chief Executive Officer Martin Goodman said: “We’re proud to be one of the first clubs to meet the recommendations.
“It’s a huge step forward in creating facilities for all supporters and a great opportunity for providing accessible facilities for both present and future fans.
“We consider ourselves a welcoming and inclusive club and look forward to new supporters enjoying these facilities.”
A full guide to the improved facilities:
- Increase in wheelchair bays from 145 to 171 throughout stadium
- Meets the recommended number for The Hawthorns’ capacity
- X18 Bays in West stand where there have never been any before
- X17 bays in the away section
- Identification of Easy access and amenity seating throughout the stadium – 413 in total
- Development of an accessible concourse to the NW of the stadium serving disabled supporters in the BRE & West stand
- Development of an accessible concourse to the SW of the stadium serving disabled supporters in the SME & West stand
- Sensory area off the SW Accessible concourse
- Changing Places toilet off SW accessible concourse
- Increase in numbers of accessible toilets throughout the stadium
- Provision of designated ambulant supporter toilet cubicles in all blocks including grab rails, outward opening doors etc.
- Accessible toilet to rear of SME for use by away supporters on a home match or home travelling supporters catching a coach to an away fixture
- General improvements throughout the stadium including:
- Automatic doors
- Tactile paving
- Realignment of facilities within accessible toilets
- Additional glass manifestations
- Raised carer seats to East stand providing a better view of the pitch and also for use by supporters unable to sit comfortably
- Car parking on Sandwell Academy School for disabled supporters with a match ticket. Passes available from the ticket office
- Additional disability awareness training for staff highlighting that not all disabilities are visible.
- Additional disability awareness module added to stewards NVQ level 2.
- Link up with Stoma Society