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Sociability, an app that helps individuals find accessible places, has seen phenomenal growth since its launch in 2019. This autumn it has collaborated with Grosvenor to map accessibility of an additional 163 venues in London’s West End.
02 OCTOBER 2023
Would you go on a night out if you couldn’t find a toilet? Would you attend a friend’s birthday party if you weren’t sure your wheelchair could fit through the door? These are just some of the daily anxieties faced by disabled people when navigating the world around them.
Sociability, an app that helps individuals find accessible places, has seen phenomenal growth since its launch in 2019. This autumn it has collaborated with Grosvenor to map accessibility of an additional 163 venues in London’s West End, growing the number of places listed on the app to more than 4,000 across London and more than 1,400 in the West End alone. With these new listings it is now possible to find more than 440 accessible toilets and almost 300 venues with step-free access or a small bump across the West End.
By funding the Sociability team to visit key locations across its Mayfair and Belgravia portfolio, Grosvenor has made accessibility information available via the free to use app for some of the area’s most popular venues, including The Audley pub on Mount Street and Roka in Mayfair as well as Atis’ salad bar in Eccleston Yards and Bayley & Sage on Elizabeth Street in Belgravia.
In the UK, there are approximately 16 million disabled people, with almost one in two households having some connection to disability. Disability charity Scope estimates the spending power of disabled householders, known as the Purple Pound, to be worth £274 billion per year. Disability organisation, Purple, estimates the missed opportunity to UK businesses of not catering to the disabled community to cost high street retailers close to £3.2 billion per year, hospitality venues close to £2 billion, and supermarkets and grocers close to £6 billion.
Amelia Bright, Executive Director, London Estate, Grosvenor commented:“In a world built without accessibility in mind, knowledge is power. Our work with Sociability is helping to ensure disabled visitors to the West End face fewer barriers to experiencing what the area has to offer. It also opens a whole new customer segment to hospitality and entertainment venues across Central London.”
Matt Pierri, CEO and Founder of Sociability commented: “To explore with confidence, disabled people need to plan ahead. For too long, finding accurate and detailed accessibility information for social venues – particularly older ones like those in the West End – has been tedious, tiresome or simply impossible. We’re thrilled to be working with Grosvenor to change this. By collaborating with progressive landlords like Grosvenor, we’re opening up the West End to more disabled patrons and their friends and family than ever before.”
The Audley Team commented: "Everyone is welcome at The Audley, and it’s important to us to ensure that everyone who comes through our doors can enjoy the full Audley Public House experience without restriction. This includes plenty of space to move through the pub, accessible toilets on the ground floor, a lift for those needing to access the toilets downstairs or the private dining rooms on the floors above, and of course, friendly staff on hand to help with any questions or concerns."
Grosvenor is an international organisation whose activities span urban property, food and agtech, rural estate management and support for philanthropic initiatives.
We are a values-led business which represents the Grosvenor family and share a common purpose - to deliver lasting commercial, social and environmental benefit - addressing today’s needs while taking responsibility for those of future generations.
With a track record of over 340 years, we work to improve urban property and places in many of the world’s leading cities, promoting sustainability within the built environment and enhancing the wellbeing of customers and communities.
Our UK property business supports c1,000 businesses and tens of thousands of residents and workers across London’s West End each day. We also invest in, create and manage sustainable neighbourhoods in Liverpool and across England. As a 1.5oC aligned company, pioneering change and new ways of thinking about property we aim to ensure our places benefit both people and the planet over the long term.