Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s PCC and Suffolk County Council Cabinet Member for Public Protection, Cllr Matthew Hicks made a ceremonial start to works on Felixstowe’s new joint police and fire station in High Road West this week on Monday 24th October.
They were joined by the Felixstowe Mayor, Jan Garfield; Fire Chief, Mark Hardingham and Chief Constable, Gareth Wilson along with staff from Brooks and Wood, the main contractor for the project and Concertus, the project consultants.
The works involve an extension to the existing fire station in the town. Once the work is completed, police officers, who are at presently based in the Police Station across the road, will move in and vacate the old police building.
Tim Passmore said: “I am absolutely delighted to be involved in the start of the building works on this latest joint police and fire project.
“Working together with the Fire Service is crucial to us meeting the financial and operational challenges we face. I am very pleased with the existing shared stations across the county; they save money and improve the joint working of two key emergency services in the county, which is excellent news for us all.”
Cllr Matthew Hicks, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection said: “The benefits of sharing property in this way are already well established in Suffolk following other successful examples in the last couple of years.
“Developing this station in Felixstowe creates a hub that serves the community in an effective way enabling both blue light services to save money in the process.”
The £524,000 project which has financial grant support from the Department of Communities and Local Government includes:
An extension to the rear of the fire station, which would provide new office accommodation for Suffolk Constabulary. Internal alterations to some of the existing ground floor offices for Police use Provision for additional car parking spaces for Operational police use and cycle parking to the rear of the site. An office for the Town Centre CCTV system which is staffed by volunteers Much improved facilities for staff with locker and server rooms and shared use of the toilets showers and the existing community room.
Plans for the old police station and the building behind known as Glenfield Court are likely to see it marketed for sale at the end of 2016.
Police and fire already have six shared stations at Woodbridge, Ixworth, Elmswell, Debenham, Clare and Framlingham and these are working well. The work to develop and improve Felixstowe fire station will help both organisations become even more cost effective and will enable police and fire to work much more closely together in Felixstowe.
The work is due to start immediately and will be completed by the spring of 2017. There will be no disruption to fire and police services during the building works with both services remaining fully operational from their respective sites.