Town backs plans for new Alnwick fire station

An artist's impression of the proposed new community fire station in Alnwick.
An artist's impression of the proposed new community fire station in Alnwick.

Plans for a new community fire station in Alnwick are a step closer – after local residents backed the proposals.

As part of Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service’s (NFRS) commitment to continual improvement and modernisation, a new community fire station will replace the existing outdated station on South Road.

The new station forms part of a proposed council ‘super depot’ facility that will be located on Northumberland County Council’s site at Lionheart Industrial Estate.

Benefits of the new station include improved community services and service delivery, modern and fit for purpose facilities, co-location to allow more joined up working and improved efficiency and value for money.

The modern facilities will be shared between the fire and rescue service and the council’s local services group, which provides all waste, highway maintenance and neighbourhood services to communities in the north of the county.

This will enable the rationalisation of the council’s depot facilities in the area and locating essential public services together to allow closer working arrangements on a shared site.

NFRS launched a period of consultation on the new fire station between October and December last year.

Feedback showed high levels of support for the proposals, both for Alnwick and the surrounding area – with more than 85 per cent backing the move from the current site to new purpose built facilities.

Northumberland’s Chief Fire Officer Alex Bennett said: “We are delighted to be able to improve the fire service for our communities whilst improving the joined up nature of services that the council provides and improving service delivery.

“The new super depot will have so many advantages compared to the current fire station, with state-of-the-art facilities fit for the 21st century.”

Coun Dave Ledger, Deputy Leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “I feel very passionately about the need to make sure that communities have the opportunity to shape and influence what happens in their local area.

“The consultation on the proposed development of a new community fire station in Alnwick has provided such an opportunity and demonstrates our commitment to work with local communities so they have their say over important matters that affect them now and in the future.”

Northumberland County Council will now seek the necessary approvals to progress development of the new site. It is anticipated the new fire station will be open in mid-2015.