Altrincham town centre during the day. Several benches and cafes with seating outside. Shops include MAX Photo Experts and Marks and Spencers.

Retail / Town Centre


A row of green shopping carts at the entrance of supermarket near a parking lot.

Retail and Town Centre Consultancy

Direct Access works with communities and local government to transform high streets into inclusive and accessible environments. We work with place leaders to identify the issues that impact accessibility which often includes delivering accessible workshops and outreach to local disability communities.

We advise and lead on urban design, planning, placemaking, place management, landscape architecture, and transportation. Our data collection systems map out key locations and integrate them with GIS data.

We have delivered public realm programmes for Trafford Council, identifying ways of improving access in Altrincham, Sale, Stretford, and Urmston centres. For Bethel, Vermont in the United States, our audit program of Main Street, downtown informed local communities on ways of improving accessibility. In Coventry, working with the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust we traced the Sherbourne River through the city centre and identified opportunities for disabled people to access viewing points.

The COVID pandemic had a major impact on urban spaces with areas closed off, seating restricted and one-way systems installed that were detrimental to access and ease of use of spaces. Direct Access enables local councils to consider accessible alternatives and build back better.

Two girls walking towards a shop in Altrincham town centre
McArthur Glen Cheshire Oaks Retail Outlet exterior.

Public Realm means any publicly owned streets, roadways, sidewalks, parks, plazas, and other open spaces that comprise the shared space of a city for its visitors, employees, and residents. It is the space between buildings where civic interaction occurs and is defined in contrast to private property.

Direct Access’ experience delivering accessibility programmes within the retail sector includes auditing, consulting, and training on projects that range from new site builds to long-established shopping centres. Direct Access are the Accessibility Consultants for McArthur Glen flagship outlet retail village at Cheshire Oaks.

In addition, Direct Access was part of a consortia which included Benoy Architects and Gillespies for the then unbuilt Woking Town Square retail development in London. We have also provided accessibility audits of restaurants including sites owned by McDonalds, Subway and Nando’s.

Steven Mifsud wearing a hard hat and HI-Vis jacket outside the entrance to Coventry Station



A smiling man, Steve Dering, holding an iPad is stood in front of various old trains at the Science and Industry Museum.



A mixed team of workers in a meeting in a conference room with a television in the background. One of the team is a man in a wheelchair.

Disability Workplace


A panoramic view of Expo 2020 Dubai at night time.




Inclusion and

Awareness Training

Mystery Shopper



Woman takes a selfie at Crewe Alexandra Stadium

Walk and Talk

Accessibility Audits

A diverse group of disabled people at a consultation event at the Science Museum in London pose for a selfie together



Altrincham town centre during the day. Several benches and cafes with seating outside. Shops include MAX Photo Experts and Marks and Spencers.

Retail and Town Centre


The Direct Access logo.

United Kingdom
Suite GB,
Pepper House,
Market Street,
CW5 5DQ.

77 Camden Street Lower,
D02 XE80.

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