A long-delayed project to build a new base for a team of north Northumberland lifesavers has finally got underway.
Work on Howick Coastguard Station started last weekto provide modern facilities so staff can operate from a central location in the team’s area of responsibility, which stretches from the mouth of the Aln in the south to Beadnell Bay.
The current team is an amalgamation of the former Craster and Boulmer teams and has been redesignated as Howick.
It currently operates from two old, inadequate and dilapidated buildings. Neither has any heating, water (other than an outside cold tap) nor toilet facilities.
Station Officer Craig Silk said: “It is very difficult and demoralising to expect the team to return from a rescue without the chance of a hot drink or a shower, or in fact anywhere to dry personal kit which may be needed again at a moment’s notice.”
The new building will have garaging for the two emergency vehicles and the trailer for the specialist cliff rescue equipment as well as a shower and training room to keep up to date with all of the technical changes required by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
Earlier this year, the scheme stalled due to negotiations between neighbouring tenants and utility companies.