Work to bring a new joint fire and police station to Newmarket will now begin after Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Protection and Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner met at the site in Willie Snaith Road to break ground.
Cllr Matthew Hicks and Tim Passmore were joined by Cllr Andy Drummond, the Mayor of Newmarket, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer Mark Hardingham and Suffolk Police Chief Constable, Gareth Wilson along with staff from Brooks and Wood, the main contractor for the project and Concertus, the project consultants.
The works involve an extension and redevelopment of the existing fire station in the town. Once the work is completed, police officers, who are at presently based in the Police Station, will move in.
Cllr Matthew Hicks, Suffolk County Council's Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection said: “We have already seen the benefits of sharing property with our colleagues in the police force across the county and it is exciting to see this collaboration continuing, following on from our previous successes.
“Developing this station in Newmarket will create a facility that serves the community in an effective way enabling both blue light services to save money in the process.”
Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore said: “I am absolutely delighted to be involved in the start of the building works on this latest joint police and fire project.
“Working together with the Fire Service is crucial to us meeting the financial and operational challenges we face. I am very pleased with the existing shared stations across the county; they save money and improve the joint working of two key emergency services in the county, which is excellent news for us all.”
The project which has financial grant support from the Department of Communities and Local Government includes:
• An extension to the front of the fire station, which would provide new office accommodation for Suffolk Constabulary.
• Internal alterations to improve welfare provisions for all staff.
• Improved access and facilities for community use.
• Much improved facilities for staff with locker and server rooms and shared use of the toilets showers and the existing community room.
The fire service and police force already have eight shared stations at Woodbridge, Ixworth, Elmswell, Debenham, Clare, Framlingham, Saxmundham and Felixstowe. The work to develop this shared station will help both organisations become even more cost effective and will enable police and fire to work much more closely together in the town.
The work is due to start immediately and will be completed by the November of 2017. There will be no disruption to fire and police services during the building works with both services remaining fully operational from their respective sites.