A KEIGHLEY town centre shopping arcade is taking part in “Purple Tuesday”, the UK’s first-ever national, accessible shopping day.

The Airedale Shopping Centre is joining the campaign, which was originally created to recognise the importance and needs of customers with disabilities.

Purple Tuesday is being launched on November 13.

It is the first awareness initiative of its kind for shopping centres and retailers to acknowledge how they currently support people with visible and non-visible disabilities, and how they can assist further.

Airedale already has a range of facilities and additional services to assist disabled customers.

The centre hosts periods of quiet time across four days of the week – Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays – when all music is turned off, enabling people with autism to enjoy a more peaceful shop.

It also has a dedicated Dementia Friendly shop in Brunswick Arcade, which offers a safe place for those with a range of disabilities to visit and give their carers some respite.

Steve Seymour, the Airedale Shopping Centre manager, said: “Almost 20 per cent of adults in the UK have a disability, 80 per cent of which have an invisible or hidden impairment.

“This means an incredible four out of five disabled customers may require some sort of support.

“For our visitors who experience the world differently, we want to ensure that at Airedale we’re providing the best customer service and accessibility we can to all members of the community.

“We are continually working with our retailers to look for ways to improve visitors’ experience, as it’s hugely important to us that everyone feels comfortable.

“Making simple adjustments to our surroundings opens up new opportunities for those with ‘silent’ disabilities to feel much more comfortable when out in public spaces.

“We are honoured to be part of such an inspiring and thought-provoking campaign.”

Purple Tuesday was started by the group Purple, a disability organisation which believes in bringing disabled people and businesses together.

Their campaign aims to increase awareness of the needs and contributions made by the disabled community, while encouraging sustainable changes in business practices that improve customer experience over the long-term.

Mike Adams, chief executive officer of, Purple, said: “We are delighted that Keighley’s Airedale Shopping Centre is supporting the Purple Tuesday campaign to promote better accessibility for disabled shoppers.

“This is a collaborative campaign that extends far beyond one day. And it is vital that retail organisations come together to make shopping more pleasurable and efficient for everyone.”