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06 Dec 2018
UK government to appoint heritage disability champion
By Luke Cloherty
UK government to appoint heritage disability champion
A disability champion will focus on improving disabled access to the various heritage sites around the UK

The British Government is recruiting a new dedicated countryside and heritage disability champion, whose role will be to focus on improving disabled access to the various heritage sites around the UK.

There are currently 14 disability champions in the UK, working in a range of sectors, including music, insurance and tourism. The countryside and heritage champion will be one of six new additions to the team alongside fashion, technology, website accessibility, food and drink and product design.

"There are nearly 14 million disabled people living in the UK," said Sarah Newton, minister for disabled people, health and work. "Our world-leading heritage sector must ensure it's capitalising on the spending power of their households – the purple pound – which is worth £249bn (US$317.5bn, €279.7bn) every year."

The countryside and heritage champion will have plenty to learn from his or her contemporaries, with strides having already been made by the 14 existing champions.

Music champion Suzanne Bull, for instance, has launched a new industry taskforce aimed at improving the deaf and disabled customers’ experiences when booking live music tickets.

Meanwhile, insurance champion Johnny Timpson is bringing together a number of representatives from the industry, as well as regulatory bodies and charities to look at how to make the sector more transparent and inclusive.

Timpson said: "Walking the talk on diversity is essential for the insurance sector, and my champion role enables me to work with the industry to improve access to affordable insurance for disabled consumers.

"Becoming a champion has allowed me to bring key players to the table to agree on a clear set of actions for making the insurance industry more inclusive."

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