Our commitment to access and inclusion

We aim to be friendly, inclusive and welcoming to all – offering a safe, open and accessible space.

We are committed to improving access to our programmes, collections and building and we will make adjustments to meet your needs.

Please call or email us to discuss anything you might need to have a great experience with us. Our friendly team at the welcome desk can also answer any questions or assist you when visiting.

Contact us

020 7392 9200

You can watch our virtual tour or see photos of our spaces to explore our building before you visit.

Our spaces

The Library and Researchers’ Area, Great Hall and Reception areas are all fully accessible on Ground Floor level.

There is access by lift or stairs to the Upper Hall on the First Floor, and to the Studio, Courtyard Room and Goss Room on the Lower Basement level.

  • We regret that the Boardroom, Rosebery and Townsend rooms are not wheelchair accessible. There are 30 stairs to the landing, then a further 4 steps to access the Boardroom.
  • The B rooms within the Brushfield Wing are also not wheelchair accessible. From ground floor there are 19 stairs up to B1, 37 stairs up to B2 & 52 stairs up to B3.
  • The Upper Hall is accessible by lift or stairs to the First Floor. There are 31 steps down from the First Floor to the Ground Level. These are broken into smaller runs of 9, 8, 11 and 3 with a small landing at each break.
  • The Upper Basement Level is accessible by lift or by walking down 20 steps from the Ground Floor.
  • There are 20 steps up from the Courtyard and Goss Room on the Upper Basement Level up to the Ground Floor.
  • The Studio is 8 steps down from the Upper Basement Level to the Lower Basement Level. There is a platform style passenger lift to this level, which requires an additional person to operate it.

We have a single lift located towards the rear of the building that accesses the Ground, Upper Basement and First Floor levels. The lift dimensions are: width 108 cm, depth 149 cm, height 198 cm.

In an emergency alarm activation, the lift will return from whichever floor it is at, to Ground Level and remain with its doors open until the all clear is given.

Fire exits from the building
  • At the front of the building into Bishopsgate (step free)
  • At the rear of the building into Fort Street (one step to level access)
  • At the side of the building, through our Duty Desk entrance to Brushfield Street (step free)
Evacuation chairs

Evacuation chairs are provided at the Upper Basement Level (for transit upwards) and First Floor Level (for transit downwards). A minimum of 2 people are required to assist an evacuation using the evacuation chairs. There are refuge spaces with voice communications panels by the lift on each floor.

Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan

If you think you may require assistance in the event of an emergency evacuation from the building, please contact us ahead of your visit or when you arrive so we can discuss making a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan for your visit.

Accessible parking

A limited number of parking spaces are available for Blue Badge holders outside Bishopsgate Institute on Brushfield Street.

Toilets and showers

We have wheelchair accessible toilets near the Front Entrance on the Ground Floor, First Floor and Basement Level. Some assistance may be required accessing the Basement Level toilet as there is a code on the door and the door is heavy to open. Please let us know if you require assistance.

We regret we do not have baby changing facilities.

There is also an accessible shower room with lockers on the Lower Basement Level.

We recognise our toilets are a work in progress and we're not there yet. We’re currently working on a plan for our toilet facilities to become more inclusive and accessible. If you’d like more information, please talk to our team.

Assistance dogs

We are very happy to admit trained assistance dogs and emotional support animals. We may ask to see their badge.

Printed materials

Our brochures and flyers can be made available in large print and electronic formats. Please call 020 7392 9200 or email enquiries@bishopsgate.org.uk to receive a copy.

Attending our events and courses

Our live events, talks and discussions usually take place in the Great Hall or Bishopsgate Library, both of which are fully accessible. We can reserve seats or space for wheelchairs at our events and concerts. Staff are available to guide group bookings.

We offer concessions to disabled users and free admission to their personal assistants/carers. Please contact enquiries@bishopsgate.org.uk to book your carer/PA ticket.

Induction loops

We have fixed induction loops which work with amplified sound in the Great Hall, Courtyard Room and Studio. To access the loops, please adjust your hearing aid to the T setting.

Families and children

All our courses, classes, and social dance events are for over 18s only. With prior permission under 18’s may attend certain seated events and hires, if accompanied by an adult at all times. Please check the terms and conditions on the event page or contact Reception on enquiries@bishopsgate.org.uk ahead of your visit to check.