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Chester could win major EU award for welcoming people with disabilities

Chester could be in line for award Credit: PA

The city of Chester is on a shortlist for a major EU award for its work in welcoming disabled people.

It's called the European Access City Award and is presented to the city which is making an effort - above and beyond - to be accessible and welcoming to people with disabilities.

There are seven cities on the shortlist. In all 43 cities from 21 EU Member States applied for the Award and national juries selected 28 for the European phase.

The award will be presented later today during a conference to celebrate the Day of Persons with Disabilities. In addition to the winner, there will be second and third prize plus special mentions (smart cities, access to employment and commitment to improvement).

The seven finalist cities are

  • Alessandria (Italy)
  • Chester (United Kingdom)
  • Funchal (Portugal)
  • Jūrmala (Latvia)
  • Lugo (Spain)
  • Rotterdam (The Netherlands)
  • Skellefteå (Sweden)

The Access City Award 2017 is organised by the European Commission together with the European Disability Forum. It recognises and celebrates cities for their efforts to make it easier for disabled and older people to gain access to public areas such as housing, children’s play areas, public transport or communication technologies.

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Report: More to be done over wheelchair access to North West attractions

Living everyday life in a wheelchair can be challenging enough - but how about when you fancy going to an art gallery or museum?

Well, here's some good news. Four of our region's top tourist attractions, have been named in the top 10 nationwide for having the best wheelchair access.

Other venues like Manchester's Museum of Science and Industry and Chester Zoo are in the top 50.

But as our correspondent Ann O'Connor found, that doesn't mean ''job done'':

Liverpool museums among the best in UK for disabled access

The Museum of Liverpool is the second most accessible attraction in the UK Credit: PA

Three of Liverpool's top visitor attractions are amongst the ten most disabled friendly in the UK.

The Museum of Liverpool came joint second with the Imperial War Museum on London, beaten only by the Tate Modern.

Also in the list are Liverpool's World Museum, which came sixth and the Walker Art Gallery, which was ninth.

All three venues are run by National Museums Liverpool.

The study into accessibility at the UK's 100 top visitor attractions, carried out by the charity Vitalise, and looked at parking, concessions and the number of staff with disability awareness training.

The Liverpool World Museum is 6th on the list of the UK's most accessible tourist attractions. Credit: PA

Specially adapted bikes destroyed in arson attack

Specially adapted bikes used by disabled children have been destroyed in an arson attack in Tameside. Police say a trailer storage unit at the community centre on Lower Bennett Street was deliberately set alight.

The trailer contained 29 specially adapted bikes. The total cost of the damage is estimated at between £35,000 and £40,000. Two boys, aged 12 and 13 have been arrested on suspicion of arson and bailed pending further enquiries.

North West firms urged to employ more people with disabilities

A conference has taken place in Manchester aimed at getting more disabled people into the workplace.

There are currently half a million people with disabilities in the North West who are unemployed.

The event was about encouraging more employers to hire disabled people - and showcasing their huge value to the regional economy.

It was hosted by the Falklands veteran Simon Weston.

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