Accessibility has always been an integral part of welcoming all to Central Hall Westminster, one of London’s largest and most iconic conference and events venues. As its famous Grade II* Listed building was first inaugurated as a public meeting space for the Methodist Church almost 112 years ago, hosting successful events that are also inclusive is part of its DNA.
Now the venue, part of Central Hall Venues group, hosts over 800 diverse events every year and is famous for providing the backdrop to many culturally significant occasions including the first ever UN public address in 1946, Stand up to Cancer and the Late Late Show to name but a few. And as an organisation that exists, not to make a profit, but to provide funds to maintain its beautiful historic building and support local and international charitable causes, it places great importance on providing a venue that everyone can access, no matter what their needs.
From large scale events in the Great Hall for up to 2,000 people to small seminars and board meetings in the Broadbent and President’s Rooms, Central Hall Westminster is renowned for its flexibility. As part of this, the team are deeply committed to making both the venue and events held within it as accessible and inclusive as possible for all visitors – regardless of ability.
To communicate the venue’s wealth of accessible features, CHV has produced an Accessibility Statement which is frequently updated. This invaluable guidance to all delegates lists detailed information needed for an accessible event, from transport and step-free access to the reassurance that assistance is always available. Furthermore, every effort is made to accommodate specific requests, even those at short notice or not known about in advance. Every event is allocated a dedicated Event Manager who is happy to assist all visitors and guests including those requiring additional assistance.
Accessible features at Central Hall Westminster include:
- Step free access from nearby Westminster underground station
- Low-level doorbells on both the main and side entrances
- Two large passenger lifts from the main entrance giving access to the café, all floors of the building and all meeting rooms except for those on level 2
- A ramped entrance from the Tothill Street entrance leading to a step free ground floor corridor
- Disabled evacuation lifts at the front and rear of the building, with fully trained operating staff
- Clearly marked disabled refuge points, with a direct intercom to reception
- Accessible toilets throughout the building
In addition, every event has a personally tailored evacuation plan included which is always agreed with the event manager, while every floor has automatic door openers. In the Great Hall there are built-in induction loops and hearing assistance, available for up to 30 people and more with advance notice. The venue also has the capacity to install accessible systems in other meeting rooms on request.
Hidden Disabilities are well catered for at Central Hall Westminster as staff endeavour to keep up to date with all initiatives such as the sunflower lanyard. The Hidden Disabilities sunflower is a simple tool to allow people to voluntarily share that they have a disability or condition that may not be immediately apparent and therefore need an extra helping hand or understanding.
For more information about accessibility at Central Hall Westminster, check out their guide, a useful document for all delegates or get in touch with the events team on 020 7222 8010.