The brand new community fire station at Newcastle is a step closer as construction work starts. The state of the art facility, to be located on Knutton Lane, will open in just one year’s time.
"The new station will not look or feel like a traditional fire station, it has been specifically designed to be inviting to the public and allows for the integration of the community within the fire station."
Newcastle Deputy Area Commander, Helen Harrison
The station will be crewed 24/7 by firefighters working full and part time hours. The two storey building will include facilities for use by operational staff as well as a community room and a gym which can be used by both firefighters and supervised community groups. The 2,000 sq metre site will also include a training yard and car park. The station will be located just metres up the road from the existing fire station.
Newcastle Deputy Area Commander, Helen Harrison said: "The existing Newcastle Fire Station is over 45 years old and so a better equipped station in Newcastle is essential to allow us to engage with our local community and provide the facilities that the firefighters require."
"The new station will not look or feel like a traditional fire station, it has been specifically designed to be inviting to the public and allows for the integration of the community within the fire station.
"We will continue to work as usual from the existing Newcastle Fire Station until the new one is complete, at which time the existing fire station will be demolished."
Cllr Simon Tagg who sits on the Fire and Rescue Authority said: "It’s a very exciting time for both the Service and the community who will benefit from this new station. I am looking forward to seeing the new station take shape over the coming months and the sod cutting will mark the first steps of this."
The station is being funded through a private finance initiative (PFI) project which is replacing stations that date from 1937 and are both dated in design and unsuitable for staff development and community engagement. Newcastle is one of ten new stations being built; the first new community facility at Rising Brook, Stafford opened in August 2010.
The community fire station at Rising Brook is already proving a success - in just three weeks 550 members of the public visited the station and upcoming activities include citizenship programme lessons for Year 7 pupils, weekly pre-school visits and running health walks for members of the local community.
The consortium delivering the project is called Fire Support (See Notes to Editor 1) and construction company, Thomas Vale have been contracted to carry out the build.
Paul Clarke, Divisional Director at Thomas Vale Construction said: "We are proud to continue our collaboration with Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and stakeholders to further improve upon the fire services in the area.
"This partnership is setting the standard for fire and rescue service provision in the county and across the UK. We will be liaising closely with the local community throughout the build period to ensure that they are fully informed of the developments and communal facilities which will form an integral part of the scheme."
A sod cutting will take place at the new site on Tuesday September 14th at 9am. The sod cutting by will be attended by the Deputy Chief Fire Officer Chris Enness, Cllr Simon Tagg, Newcastle firefighters and the Area Commander for Newcastle Helen Harrison.
Newcastle Community Fire Station Statistics:
Number of workers: 80
Steel Frame: 140 tonnes
Number of square metres the site will cover: 2,000 sq metres
Number of firefighters to be based at the station: 63
Building cost: £4.5 million