This week signifies the end of an era as demolition work started on Uttoxeter Fire Station!
The 50 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, it has been specifically designed to allow for the integration of the community within the station."
Peter Dartford, Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service
The new £2.1 million fire station, which will come complete with community facilities, is due to open in just one year's time.
The appliance and the 17 retained firefighters, who work at the station, are now operating out of temporary accommodation, located at the front of the site.
Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive, Peter Dartford said: "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 – instead of just being a response base, it has been specifically designed to allow for the integration of the community within the station.
"Several years ago these new community fire stations were just a vision, now they are becoming a reality." Chairman of the Fire and Rescue Authority,
Cllr Len Bloomer added: "The community fire stations project is certainly picking up pace now, with Uttoxeter being fourth in a line of ten stations set to be built. It’s very exciting to think that in just one year’s time we will be throwing our doors open to the people of Uttoxeter.
"This really will be a state of the art community station that 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, Stepnell, have been contracted to carry out the build at Uttoxeter.
Director of Stepnell, David Brill commented: "Stepnell has been working closely with the Fire and Rescue Authority and numerous specialist consultants for more than two years to develop a design that provides a revolutionary fire station and meets both current and future requirements of the fire service and the wider community.
"We are proud to be associated with such a prestigious development and excited about starting construction, a key mile stone in the project and the result of a lot of hard work by all involved."
Preparation work by the contractors, Stepnell, started on the site at the end of November. After the demolition phase, actual construction on the new station will commence.
The two storey building will cover a base area of approximately 600 square metres. 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.
Children from Cheeky Monkeys Nursery, next door to the station, have already started working on their contribution.