Disability Access Gets The Thumbs Up
Supported by a Township Grant from Sandwell MBC that part funded remedial works to the gallery front entrance MFAA has had the 'Thumbs Up' from local councillors to the improvements made.
It was way back in July that The Art Yard management team first explored the possibility of improving access for all to the gallery from Upper High Street. Ceri Davies BEM of More Mascots Please CIC visited in her wheelchair to perform an access assessment from which MFAA group submitted a funding application to Sandwell MBC that part funded alterations using a Township Grant.
The team called in the help of Paul Poole who had his carpenter build new supporting pillars for new roller shutter doors. CnC Shutters were then able to remove the old metal work door and window frames thus freeing up the entrance and installed new shutters.
Not only did the work improve security but the aim of widening the access point and fitting a new door was also made possible.
Andy Evans from Weird Systems was then able to connect everything together with new electrical systems, giving easy access and improved security.
Finally, Ceri Davies revisited to inspect the access point and gave it her seal of approval.
Asked about the changes made club Treasurer, Harry Bloomer said, "One of the main drivers for moving the gallery from Reddal Hill Road to the Upper High Street was to open access to the arts for wheelchair users and those less able. The TAY team feel they have now achieved that aim, thanks to the support by Rowley Regis Township Council of Sandwell MBC. I must admit it was a struggle and our original plans had to change but in the end it's now fantastic to be able to welcome wheelchair users and less able people into the gallery."
Pictured from L to R are: Harry Bloomer, Cllr Ashman, Warren McCabe-Smith (inside window) and Cllr Mavena. Photograph by: Marie Brookes