Liverpool Philharmonic Awarded Gold on the Charter
Posted on 06.06.2018
Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. Photo by Mark McNulty.
We are pleased to award Liverpool Philharmonic Gold, the highest standard on our Charter of Best Practice, in recognition of their commitment to accessibility for Deaf and disabled customers. It is only the ninth music venue in the country to have achieved this standard.
We have been working with Liverpool Philharmonic for eight years. They first achieved Bronze status on the Charter, before undergoing an £14.5M refurbishment of the 1939, Grade II*listed Hall, which was completed in autumn 2015. The Hall is the home of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and one of the UK’s premier arts and entertainment venues.
The refurbishment included the building of a new, smaller scale venue, Music Room, and significant improvements to front of house areas and facilities for all visitors. It included the installation of a new lift providing access to all levels of the main Hall for the first time, improved accessibility in all parts of the auditorium (including transfer seating for wheelchair users), and the installation of a new Changing Places toilet facility.
In order to achieve Gold status, Liverpool Philharmonic has implemented additional improvements to its facilities and working practices including:
- Relaxed and Dementia-Friendly Concerts, which feature orientation visits, consideration of lighting levels, a British Sign Language interpreter and additional stewards to welcome customers.
- An Access Scheme to ensure a smoother booking process for disabled customers. Members of the scheme can obtain refunds or credit notes on tickets if they are unable to attend an event due to illness.
- An Access Map and a set of common walking routes is complemented by a short film which shows visitors what to expect (coming soon).
- A range of programmes and other information provided in large print and Easy Read formats, following guidance from Liverpool Mencap.
- An accessible service point in the Hall’s foyer for the sale of tickets and merchandise.
- Table service offered to customers with access needs if required.
- Respite spaces for those who need them are available on both the ground floor, and upper level.
- Customer-facing staff have received training on how to support visitors with visual impairments. Further training on autism awareness is set to take place over the summer.
- Annual consultations with disabled customers to enable the venue to continually review and improve customer service, facilities and support.
Suzanne Bull MBE, Chief Executive Officer of Attitude is Everything said:
‘We are delighted to have awarded Liverpool Philharmonic the Gold award via our Charter of Best Practice, having worked together for the last 8 years. The refurbishment of the Hall makes Liverpool Philharmonic a wonderful resource for local Deaf and disabled audiences and visitors to Liverpool.
‘It is also fantastic to see Liverpool Philharmonic make great strides in accessible and inclusive information provision, partnering with local disability organisations to welcome diverse audiences. We look forward to seeing what they do next!’
Michael Eakin, Chief Executive of Liverpool Philharmonic said:
‘We are proud to have secured Gold status, one of only nine music venues nationally, of which three are in the North, to have achieved this highest standard. Like Attitude is Everything, we believe music is for everyone, and we want to make sure we welcome diverse audiences and artists through our doors to perform, participate in and enjoy music and music-making of the highest quality.
‘We are grateful to Attitude is Everything for their support in helping us to better understand Deaf and disabled people’s access requirements in our venues at both front and back front of house. Their guidance in introducing improvements across our business to improve our welcome and service for these customers has been invaluable, and it is something that we will continue work on.’