A NEW community fire and ambulance station costing £3.9m is to be built in Wigan as part of a collaborative initiative.
The project between Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) and North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) and the selected contractor, Willmott Dixon, is currently in the concept design stage and it is envisaged that building work will start later this year.
This is an extremely exciting a positive venture for our two organisationsDerek Cartwright
The facility will replace the existing fire station in Robin Park Road, Newtown, and will see firefighters and paramedics work side by side from the site.
It is believed the plans have been discussed for more than a year and design for the new station is underway involving staff at both of the emergency services and the unions, along with Willmott Dixon.
Chairman of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, Coun David Acton, said: “We are pleased to be working side by side with NWAS again. The project will allow us to further improve our relationship as well as make financial savings over the years, similarly to the project in Irlam which sees fire, ambulance and police work together.
“Appointing Willmott Dixon is a milestone for the project and managers are working with staff at both services and members of the public to achieve the desired end result.
“The community fire station will be an important part of the local community and will include a room for use by community partners, groups and adult education providers and a gymnasium.”
It is hoped that the project will see GMFRS and NWAS achieve a superior Building Research Establishment Environmental Method (BREEAM) accreditation - a measure of a building’s carbon footprint and positive impact on the environment.
NWAS director of operations, Derek Cartwright, said: “This is an extremely exciting and positive venture for our two organisations. NWAS already very successfully shares premises with both fire and police colleagues throughout the region but the design concepts for this particular site herald a new model of working for the Trust.
“We are very much looking forward to following the progress on this project and have worked closely with our staff and union representatives to ensure it fulfils all of their expectations.”
A spokesman for Willmott Dixon said: “We are delighted to be working with GMFRS and NWAS to deliver the new combined community fire and ambulance station.
“Currently in the design stage of this exciting new concept, we are working closely with the client team to make the sure the proposals include all the facilities required as well as provide excellent value for money.”