Rutland Water: Two New Changing Places By RISE

While its primary purpose is providing safe and clean drinking water to homes across the East Midlands, Rutland Water has grown to be so much more than a simple reservoir.

Managed by Anglian Water, the reservoir is home to Sites of Special Scientific Interest, a Ramsar internationally important wetland site, Nature Conservation Review sites as well as several hundred hectares under the care of local Wildlife Trusts. As a centre of considerable natural beauty and rare wildlife activity, the surrounding area has become a major tourist attraction, with visitors attending from both the local towns and further afield.

Under Anglian’s stewardship, Rutland has seen the installation of a 23-mile perimeter track for walking and cycling, provision for watersports and fishing, cafes, an aqua park, a small beach, minigolf, and even its own pleasure cruiser. Taken as a whole, and combined with the area’s outstanding natural beauty, Rutland Water has marked itself out as a model of how our reservoirs can be put to public service beyond mere utility and become centres for learning, recreation and conservation.

With a view to opening up Rutland’s significant offering to a wider audience, while also improving the site’s general accessibility for people with significant disabilities, the team at Anglian Water decided to install a pair of Changing Places toilets. They chose two strategically important sites: adjacent to an existing toilet block and café in Normanton, and at a similar location in Whitwell, both close to the circular route around the reservoir and near some of the area’s most popular amenities, including the Fishing Lodge, Aqua Park and River Cruise.

RISE, as the country’s leading specialist modular Changing Places installer, were contracted to complete both installations.

First Things First…What Are Changing Places?

Changing Places are specially adapted accessible loos, designed with the requirements of people with complex needs in mind. People with degenerative conditions such as muscular dystrophy, or who have experienced paralysis, or simply need more room to attend to their hygiene needs, simply aren’t catered to properly by traditional accessible toilets. By contrast Changing Places toilets, by law, have to contain certain pieces of specialist equipment that make people with these sorts of complex needs more comfortable. Under the BS8300 standards, these include:

  • A peninsular toilet, with height-adjustable grab rails
  • An adult-sized, height-adjustable changing bench
  • A height-adjustable sink
  • A full-room hoist system, allowing safe transfer from wheelchairs and other ambulatory aids
  • A shelf for stoma bags, and a point for safe disposal of ostomy equipment
  • Hooks for coats and bags
How Accessible Are YOUR Public Spaces?

There are other requirements, such as non-slip flooring and privacy screens, and all RISE installations come with a shower fitted as standard.

With Changing Places toilets, disabled people and their families can travel in confidence, knowing that they can safely, cleanly and easily attend to their health and hygiene needs. Without them, people with complex health conditions are left with a few stark options: stay at home (or make only short trips), sit in soiled continence products, or risk being cared for somewhere unclean or unsafe, such as on a public toilet floor.

Thankfully, central government has made funding available to install more of these vital services. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Changing Places Fund opened for applications in 2020, and over the past 3 years has seen the number of Changing Places in the UK balloon to over 2,200. Anglian Water took advantage of the funding on offer to cover the costs of installing these two pods, and as a result, Rutland Water is now both more accessible and a better prospect for outings, day trips and holidays for both locals and the wider general public.


Health & Safety – Always At The Fore

Every job RISE works on has its own set of quirks that makes it unique. However, these installations at Rutland Water perhaps had a few more than the average!

As a responsible and respected main contractor, RISE already has extremely mature Health & Safety processes, procedures and policies in place. Our internal teams carry out our own site surveys, we audit and risk assess all sites prior to the commencement of any works and put in place specific health and safety plans in place for each element of each job we undertake, from breaking ground to delivery and lift to final install.

As a mixed-use site with constant public access during working hours, the need for consideration for the local conservation areas, and to ensure the primary function of the reservoir (ie. the supply of potable water) was not put at risk, the client required us to comply with additional and rigorous health and safety checks which were reviewed jointly at each stage of the process. These additional requirements were vital to the success of the project, and included:

  • A requirement for hand-dug inspection holes at each proposed site, to determine the exact location of utility lines and prevent any unintended outages, or possibly injury to workers or the public
  • A clear and agreed plan for how works would be separated from the general public, with RISE delegated the responsibility to determine the best course of action based on its extensive experience
  • A detailed plan for the delivery of each unit, including how the Hiab trucks would be shepherded on site, where they would be placed, the footing they would sit on and detailed plans for rescue should workers become suspended from the crane
  • A comprehensive and detailed schedule of works that covered what would happen on site and when chronologically.


As with any other job, we were more than happy to meet the client’s expectations to ensure they had the confidence they needed to allow the works to go ahead as planned. Our experienced site management team worked closely with both Anglian Water and our subcontractors to ensure that these plans were both in place and properly monitored and adhered to for the duration of works, resulting in a successful, safe and happy site.

In addition to this, both installations fell within local development plans, meaning their designs needed to complement and blend in with both existing buildings and the local habitat, while not impinging on the views, light or impacting on local residents.

As all of our modular pods follow a fixed design with scope for finish customisations, compliance with planning regulations was easy enough; our proposed plans featured a cedral lap weatherboard cladding for the shell of the building which, when paired with their small scale and uniform design, passed planning scrutiny with flying colours.


Rutland’s Open!

It was an absolute pleasure to work on these two pods with Anglian Water. Our mission at RISE is to make our public spaces as accessible as they can be for everyone, regardless of their individual needs. Rutland Water’s now open to so many more disabled visitors and their families, meaning they can benefit from all the positives that the great outdoors has to offer. Happy days!

Need More CPT Inspiration?

Call 07729 224 738 or email
We’re open Monday to Friday, 08:00-18:00.

To learn more about Changing Places, why not download our brochure or attend one of our monthly online seminars.

Call: 07729 224 738
08:00-18:00, Mon-Fri

To learn more about Changing Places, why not download our brochure or attend one of our monthly online seminars.

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