Suffolk’s largest joint emergency services hub was officially opened by HRH The Princess Royal today, with the new facility in Ipswich marking the latest milestone in a highly successful collaborative scheme.
The Princess Royal was joined by local dignitaries, including Suffolk’s High Sheriff, the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Deputy Chief Constable and Chief Fire Officer, councillors from Suffolk County Council and the Mayor of Ipswich for the grand opening of the shared site earlier this afternoon (Tuesday, 28 March).
During her time at the new station, HRH The Princess Royal spoke to staff from Suffolk Constabulary and Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service who have already begun to benefit from using the state-of-the-art facility.
Demonstrations of some of the fire service’s work, including water and animal rescues, also formed part of the visit, along with a tour of the building, which has undergone extensive renovations since work started on the project in December 2020.
Situated in the heart of Suffolk’s county town, the facility will help maintain public safety, ensure a swift response to incidents, and promote partnership working.
Councillor Andrew Reid, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Public Protection, commented: “It was an honour to welcome HRH, The Princess Royal, for the opening of the largest combined police and fire facility in Suffolk today, cementing the station’s status as the jewel in our county’s crown and celebrating the latest in a long line of hugely successful collaborations with our emergency services partners. We have already started to see the vast benefits of this shared site, which enables the efficient and cost-effective delivery of response activity in an environmentally responsible manner, ensuring continued value for money for our residents whilst supporting our council’s net-zero ambitions. I would like to thank everyone involved in delivering the new building; their attention to detail has resulted in a modern, fit-for-purpose station we can all be proud of, not just locally but on a national level, with Suffolk’s integrated blue light hub scheme heralded as an exemplar by central government.”
Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, added: “Our county was very privileged to welcome the Princess Royal for the official opening of the new joint Police and Fire Station in the centre of Ipswich. Our joint estates programme is one of the most important and significant examples of joint working nationally and is an excellent example of what can be achieved by pooling resources and working together. A great result for Suffolk.”
The multi-million-pound project has also boosted the local economy, following the use of Suffolk-based companies Concertus and RG Carter for the station’s design and construction.