£27m fire stations plan approved

A £27MILLION project to build five fire stations and refurbish five more across the county was today given the go-ahead by the government.

Grant Sherlock

A £27MILLION project to build five fire stations and refurbish five more across the county was today given the go-ahead by the government.

Hadleigh and Needham Market fire stations will be among those to be rebuilt, with the full-time fire station in Colchester Road, Ipswich, and the station at Felixstowe included among those to be refurbished.

The work will be carried out under a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) which Suffolk County Council has signed with The Land Group consortium, which has centres in Woodbridge and London.

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Suffolk County Council's portfolio holder for public protection, councillor Joanna Spicer, welcomed today's announcement.

She said: “This is the most extensive building programme the service has seen in recent years.

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“It is excellent news for both the service and local communities across Suffolk.

“Today's agreement means that we can start the work desperately needed to improve, update and upgrade our fire stations.”

Suffolk's Chief Fire Officer, Lee Howell, added: “This is excellent news for our crews and I am pleased that they will be able to see the first bricks and mortar of the project being put in place.

“As well as the new fire stations and the refurbishments we will also take the opportunity to redecorate and update some of our other stations which are not in the PFI scheme.”

Work is expected to begin on Needham Market fire station, in Barking Road, and Felixstowe fire station, in High Road West, at the end of July.

Work is expected to begin on building the new Hadleigh station, in Aldham Road, in June next year while refurbishment work at Ipswich's Colchester Road fire station is expected to start in July next year.

The PFI project:-

- Relocate and rebuild Lowestoft South (whole time fire station)

- Relocate and rebuild Lowestoft North (retained fire station)

- Relocate and rebuild Hadleigh (retained fire station)

- Rebuild Needham Market (retained fire station)

- Rebuild Nayland (retained fire station)

- Refurbish Colchester Road (whole time fire station)

- Refurbish Bury St Edmunds (whole time fire station)

- Refurbish Felixstowe (day crewed fire station)

- Refurbish Sudbury (retained fire station)

- Refurbish Haverhill (day crewed fire station)

- Facilities management to all the above fire stations and Newmarket fire station (day crewed)

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