Essex Fire Brigade considering £11m re-build of fleet workshops in Lexden

The Essex County Fire and Rescue service fleet workshop is line for an £11m re-build.

The Essex County Fire and Rescue service fleet workshop is line for an £11m re-build. - Credit: Su Anderson

Plans for an £11million rebuild of Essex Fire Brigade’s fleet workshop have been revealed.

Approval is being sought from Essex Fire Authority’s policy and strategy committee to spend £1.13m drawing up designs and detailed plans for the project.

According to an authority report the existing buildings at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service’s (ECFRS) workshops in Lexden contain large amounts of asbestos and are coming to the end of their life.

While patch-up repairs have been carried out, significant refurbishment would be costly due to the asbestos and the buildings are at “a significant risk of failure in the next few years”.

ECFRS has considered re-locating its workshops but there are no suitable sites, however if this changes during the design phase any options would be reconsidered.

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The workshop team would be temporarily re-located while any work is carried out.

Outsourcing has also been ruled out by the brigade.

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It currently costs £0.2m annually to maintain the site, which is also home to the brigade’s Urban Search and Rescue team.

An ECFRS spokesman said: “The redevelopment would involve a brand new building at the current workshops site.

“The work would provide a state-of-the-art service workshop for years to come.

“At this stage we are seeking approval to move forward with the design of the building. Plans will be presented to the Fire Authority for approval once they are complete.”

The committee meets on Wednesday September 23.

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