Construction has started on two new community fire stations in Burslem and Kidsgrove.
“We are delighted that these much needed rebuilds are about to go ahead."
During October the contractors, Thomas Vale, will clear the site and prepare the land. The towers at both fire stations have already been demolished and preparation for the on-site temporary accommodation is underway. Demolition work on the existing stations will begin towards the end of November, by which point firefighters, the engines and equipment will have moved into the temporary on-site accommodation. Emergency response will be unaffected throughout the construction period.
Burslem Community Fire Station is due to be completed by August 2011 and Kidsgrove Community Fire Station is due for completion by September 2011. The current Burslem Fire Station on Hamil Road opened in 1956 whilst Kidsgrove Fire Station on Lower Ash Road opened in 1965.
Station Manager, Phil Smith said: “We are delighted that these much needed rebuilds are about to go ahead. The new stations will have improved facilities and will allow us to achieve our aim of strengthening links with the local community. Once these facilities are completed North Staffordshire will have benefited from five brand new community fire stations.
Chairman of the Fire and Rescue Authority, Cllr Len Bloomer commented: “It’s taken years of hard work to get to this stage, so to now see actual construction work in progress, it’s very rewarding. The current stations were built over 45 years ago at a time when we were purely a reactive service, not the pro-active service we are today.”
Director at Thomas Vale Construction, Paul Clarke added: "We are strongly committed to helping the local community of Burslem and Kidsgrove and are proud to continue our collaboration with Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and stakeholders in providing these innovative community fire stations. These two projects will contribute towards setting the standard for fire and rescue service provision in the County and across the UK.”
The stations are two of ten new stations being built under a multi million private finance initiative (PFI) project. Burslem Community Fire Station will cost £2.2 million whilst Kidsgrove Community Fire Station will cost £2.9 million. The PFI project has already seen Hanley Fire Station demolished and a brand new community fire station is currently being constructed in its place. A brand new community fire station is also due to open its doors later this month in Sandyford.