WORK to create a specialist toilet in the town centre has begun.

The fully accessible toilet and changing facility will be built in the Unity office near Andover bus station.

The project comes after mum Amy Attrill, who son Kane suffers from severe constipation and bowel impaction, submitted a petition to Test Valley Borough Council as she struggled to find suitable facilities to change her son when away from home. The petition attracted almost 2,000 supporters.

Amy said: “It is great that preparation work has started to enable the delivery of the new Changing Places facility and I look forward to seeing it once complete. I would like to thank the council once again for their commitment to this project as this really will make such a difference to all those with complex disabilities and their families and carers.”

The facility is being delivered by the authority and will be for those with multiple and complex disabilities and will be fully accessible with a changing bench and hoist.

Council leader Councillor Phil North, said: “I am really pleased that work has started on the new Changing Places toilet. I am passionate about ensuring that our town is accessible to all and this new facility is key to that."

It will be the first facility of its kind provided by the council in the town and will be much larger than a standard disabled facility to help accommodate one or two carers.

Unity chief executive Terry Bishop, said: “It is fantastic that work has now started and I am once again delighted that we have been able to accommodate the new Changing Places toilet in the Unity office.”

Chris Dixon, CEO from Mencap, added: “It is important that we don’t underestimate the impact that the Changing Places toilet will have on those who need access to such a facility. This really is great news for the town.”

The first stage of the project will involve creating a new store for Unity in the Chantry Centre car park, which will free up space for the new facility.

Work is expected to be completed in January 2019.