Work is under way on a state-of-the-art community fire station and expanded council depot on the outskirts of Alnwick.
The £5million project, due for completion in spring 2017, is being built on Northumberland County Council’s site at Lionheart Industrial Estate, just off the A1.
The new station will be more cost-efficient and provide improved community services with a modern fit-for-purpose building and better training facilities.
The site 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 Alnwick and the surrounding areas.
The extended facility will create more space, bigger workshops, better access for the public and also allow other council teams to be based there.
The new fire station will replace the existing outdated station on South Road, while the Willowburn depot site will ultimately close when the Lionheart depot is complete.
The current services operated out of Lionheart will continue during the works, with the household waste centre next to the depot remaining open to the public.
The fire station move was subject to public consultation and feedback showed high levels of support for the proposals, with more than 85 per cent of respondents backing the move from the current site to new purpose-built facilities.
Coun Dave Ledger, deputy leader of Northumberland County Council, who has responsibility for the fire and rescue service, said: “We are delighted to be able to improve the fire service for our communities while improving the joined-up nature of services that the council provides and improving service delivery. The new site will have so many advantages compared to the current fire station, with state-of-the-art facilities fit for the 21st century.”
Coun Ian Swithenbank, cabinet member for local services, added: “The council is committed to co-locating services wherever possible and this is a great example where we can base two important facilities on one site. Many of the local services based at Lionheart need easy access onto the A1 and this represents a great location for them. The community and our staff will all benefit from this move.”