Next week will signify the end of an era as demolition work starts on Burslem Fire Station. The 54 year old station is being knocked down to allow a brand new community fire station to be built on the site.
"This new station will be far from a ‘traditional’ fire station as it has been specifically designed to allow for the integration of the community within the station."
Stoke-on-Trent Area Commander, Wayne Bowcock
The new £2.2 million fire station, which will come complete with community facilities, is due to open in August 2011. The appliance and the 14 retained firefighters, who work at the station, are now operating out of temporary accommodation, located at the front of the site.
Stoke-on-Trent Area Commander, Wayne Bowcock said: "The new community fire stations are now they are becoming a reality. The demolition work does signify the end of an era but also the start of a new one. This new station will be far from a ‘traditional’ fire station as it has been specifically designed to allow for the integration of the community within the station."
Cllr Ross Irving, Vice Chair of the Fire and Rescue Authority, added: "Burslem is eighth in line of the ten stations set to be built. It’s very exciting that the new station will be a state of the art community station and will be the envy of other fire and rescue services across the country."
Funding for the new station has come from a multi million private finance initiative (PFI) project. The consortium delivering the project is called Fire Support and construction company, Thomas Vale, have been contracted to carry out the build at Burslem.
Paul Clarke, Director at Thomas Vale Construction said: "We are extremely proud to be continuing with our partners in Staffordshire to deliver these exciting new community fire stations. Burslem is now the eighth new community fire station that we have commenced on site and together with the Fire Authority and our partners, we look forward to working closely with the community of Burslem and involving them in this exciting construction period.
"This partnership is setting the standard for fire and rescue service provision in the county and across the UK by providing a huge range of innovative learning opportunities throughout the duration of the build and through the use of the new community rooms situated within the fire stations."
Preparation work by the contractors, Thomas Vale, started on the site at the start of October. After the demolition phase, actual construction on the new station will commence.
In the coming months the fire service will be asking for contributions from the local community, to place in a time capsule, set to be buried in the grounds of the station.