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Back to the future for ambulances

PUBLISHED: 13:20 30 June 2003 | UPDATED: 14:03 03 March 2010

A UNIQUE and futuristic style ambulance station is set to open in Suffolk next week.

The steel clad station with a curved roof is thought to be the only one of this design in the country.

A UNIQUE and futuristic style ambulance station is set to open in Suffolk next week.

The steel clad station with a curved roof is thought to be the only one of this design in the country.

It will house 10 frontline and six non-emergency ambulance staff who will cover the Newmarket area including part of the A14.

There will also be a community paramedic vehicle and a special rapid response bay.

Classic-winning racehorse trainer Mark Tompkins will officially open the station on Wednesday, but it will be in use from Tuesday.

Staff have had a say in the design of the new building.

Frank Harradence, county commander for Suffolk, said: "The old station was far from ideal and outdated, with crews situated on the second and third floors. Now we have a purpose built, modern design which we're all delighted with.

"It was important that staff had a large say in their new workplace, and there were other, cheaper, options which were rejected because they were unpopular with the crews."

As well as providing better accommodation, the ambulance service will profit from the sale of the old site, enabling funds to be put back into patient care.

It's the first all-new ambulance station to be opened in Suffolk, Cambridgeshire or Norfolk since Beccles 10 years ago.

Architect Dennis Black, of Tether Walls Architects, said the steel-framed building was made from largely maintenance free materials and should prove economical to run.

He said: "The external walls and one-piece curved roof are clad with steel-profiled cladding, which is maintenance free.

"As for the design itself, to my knowledge there isn't another ambulance station like it – it's very distinctive and unique."

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