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100 visitor economy businesses to launch Accessible Destination Suffolk

9 May, 2023

Suffolk Growth Partnership has launched the Accessible Destination Suffolk initiative.

Working with Suffolk’s local authorities and AccessAble we are seeking to work with 100 local visitor economy businesses to help develop Suffolk as a more accessible and inclusive visitor destination, supporting the local economy to grow and improving access to local services.

Suffolk Growth’s recent report – Accessibility and Inclusion – enabling growth in the Suffolk Visitor Economy – found the value of spending of disabled people across Suffolk’s visitor economy was £303 million per year, with the potential to grow what is known as the ‘Purple Pound’ further.

Among the recommendations, the report highlighted a gap in the provision of visitor economy venue ‘access guides’ that can support a customer to plan their visit fully and promote confidence in Suffolk as a destination of choice for people with accessibility needs.

The exciting new partnership led by Suffolk Growth will support 100 visitor attractions, accommodation, retail and hospitality businesses across the county to work with AccessAble, our expert advisors. AccessAble will survey and develop individual business access guides and promote them via the Access Able website and App. The Guides look at ‘access’ and ‘disability’ from lots of different perspectives – mobility impairment, learning disability, sensory impairment, dementia, and mental health.

Suffolk Growth’s Visitor Economy Strategic Lead, Richard Hunt commented:

“Disabled people often face isolation, as it is sometimes very difficult to determine whether shops, pubs, restaurants, accommodation, and visitor venues are accessible. The Access Guides are designed to enable people to check whether a venue will be accessible to their own access requirements. This information is often critical in the choice to visit a venue or destination, or not.”

AccessAble will be working with Suffolk’s visitor economy businesses throughout 2023 to deliver Accessible Destination Suffolk. Access Guides give incredibly detailed accessibility information, meaning disabled people can find out in advance, what they would need to visit a venue, or if they can go.

Last year the AccessAble website had over 5 million unique users, and over 8 million Access Guides used. Having a guide on their website could mean visitors are more confident that they will be able to visit your venue, as they will know about any challenges in advance, and can make necessary preparations. Having an Access Guide also reduces complaints about accessibility, as people will not be surprised on arrival.

The 100 visitor economy businesses taking part in the initiative will have an Access Guide created by AccessAble and hosted at https://www.accessable.co.uk/suffolk-county-council

This project is fully funded by the Suffolk Growth Partnership and the VENI project supporting Suffolk businesses to participate.

Don’t miss this opportunity for 100 Suffolk businesses!

To get involved in this fantastic project and ensure that your venue is promoted as part of Accessible Destination Suffolk please contact Suffolk Growth at info@suffolkgrowth.co.uk as places are limited.

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AccessAble, originally called DisabledGo, was set up in 2000 by Dr. Gregory Burke as a result of his own experiences as a wheelchair user and disabled walker. Gregory was frustrated to find that the best-case scenario when he looked for accessibility information was a few unhelpful words that only resulted in more uncertainty. Working alongside over 100 different disability groups Gregory launched DisabledGo’s first website in 2002. Since then the organisation has grown and developed, continually meeting and listening to its user community.
In June 2018 we began to build our new website and IOS and Android Apps, something our user community had been passionate and vocal about. We also made the decision to rebrand to AccessAble.

Today, AccessAble.co.uk is used by over 5 million people each year.