Two businesses in Dungannon district win prestigious disability access awards

Newell Stores Coalisland
Newell Stores Coalisland

A local arts centre and supermarket were among 20 premises from across Northern Ireland to be recognised for their ‘disability friendly’ facilities at a recent awards ceremony.

Ranfurly Arts and Visitor Centre and Coalisland’s Newell Stores, were handed certificates from the William Keown Trust [WKT] at the annual Prestige Access Awards event, held in Omagh’s Silverbirch Hotel.

The William Keown Trust was first founded over 35 years ago by Cerebral Palsy sufferer Bill Keown “as a proactive and authoritative voice for people with disabilities”.

Concerned at poor standards of access for disabled people in buildings across the province, WKT then set up the Access Awards, and in recent years has undertaken access audits for a number of establishments.

The awards are held every year in an effort to recognise organisations that have worked towards making their buildings accessible for everyone in the community.

Mr Keown, Chief Executive to the Trust, said the Trust’s Access and Education Committee was pleased with the standard of accessibility in twenty sites across Northern Ireland, including two in Dungannon district and a further three in Cookstown.

WKT can give independent advice on projects from the early stages right through to completion, and has the knowledge to get the best possible solution on any project.

With ‘DisabledGo’ recently stating that the lack of accessibility to shops and department stores, has prevented thousands of people with disabilities and their families from spending around £2m in the festive season,.

WKT is urging businesses and retailers in the area to think of the bottom line while complying with the ‘1995 Disability Act’ when planning their facilities.