Firefighters move from Ipswich base so work can start on ‘Blue Light Hub’
PUBLISHED: 17:21 11 November 2020 | UPDATED: 09:10 12 November 2020
Princes Street Fire Station in Ipswich closes on Thursday to allow it to be rebuilt as a “blue light hub” for both firefighters and the police over the next year.
While the building is shut, the fire service will operate from the Army Reserve Centre in Yarmouth Road which has been prepared for its temporary role over the last few weeks.
When the firefighters do return to Princes Street next year it will be to an essentially new building which will also include the town centre police station.
Group Commander Nigel Vincent from Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: “I want to reassure people that the temporary fire station will be fully functional, with no loss of fire cover for the residents of Ipswich or the surrounding communities that the station presently serves.
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“We have suitable bays to house the fire appliances and a new temporary building has been constructed in the drill yard to accommodate the crews.
“We’re grateful to our colleagues at the Army Reserve Centre for being so accommodating and cooperative. I’d also like to thank those who live nearby for their understanding during the temporary arrangements. We have all been working hard to ensure the new arrangements will have little or no negative impact on local residents and the community.”
Richard Rout, Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection at Suffolk County Council, said: “The Princes St refurbishment is an exciting project and will give our crews and Police colleagues a modern base to work from.
“We already have 16 stations across Suffolk, where Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service share facilities with Suffolk Constabulary or East of England Ambulance Service, and there are further collaborations planned.
“These partnerships enable us all to deliver savings on the cost of running multiple buildings, but also allow emergency services to work even more closely together in supporting and engaging with their local communities.”
The £3.9m cost of converting Princes Street into a joint police and fire station was approved by the government last year. Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said the move would be “cost neutral” for the constabulary because it would enable it to dispose of the current Ipswich town centre police station in Museum Street.
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