- Tuesday, 21 July 2015 11:00
Construction work will begin this week on a new fire station in the centre of Bristol.
Part of the existing fire station at Temple Back has already been demolished to make way for the new building which will occupy one side of the almost two acre site.
The station will be home to two fire appliances and a turntable ladder, as well as the Service’s rope rescue team. Eleven firefighters will crew the station around the clock ensuring exactly the same level of cover as the existing station.
By rebuilding the new fire station on a smaller footprint Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) intends to release the rest of the site for redevelopment.
Chairman of Avon Fire Authority, Councillor Peter Abraham said: “We are absolutely committed to maintaining the same level of fire cover in the centre of Bristol, however this must be done in the context of significantly reduced budgets.
“By designing a new station from scratch we have been able to incorporate all our current and likely future needs in a smaller building that will be more efficient to run. This will also allow us to achieve a financial return by releasing the rest of the site for commercial redevelopment.”
Temple Back Fire Station was built in 1973 and is also home to AF&RS’s Headquarters function. In 2013 the cost of maintaining the building over the next 10 years was estimated at £9 million, prompting AF&RS to explore alternative options in order to reduce overheads.
The redevelopment of Temple Fire Station is part of the ‘Investing for the Future’ programme of works being implemented by AF&RS in order to achieve annual savings of £4.5 million.
The works have already seen the extension of Kingswood Fire Station which was merged with the nearby Speedwell Fire Station earlier this year. A new fire station is also being built at Hicks Gate which is due to open in early 2016.
Chief Fire Officer Kevin Pearson said: “Like many areas of the public sector we have experienced huge reductions in our budgets since 2010. This has meant we’ve had no alternative but to look at cost saving measures. ‘Investing for the Future’ is an ambitious programme of works which will lead to significant savings to the public, but importantly with no reduction in the level of emergency cover we provide.
“In all our planning we have been careful to ensure that any changes we make do not compromise our response standards.”
Construction work is due to last approximately 48 weeks with the new Temple Fire Station expected to open in Summer 2016.
Pictured above (from left) Councillor Peter Abraham (Chairman of Avon Fire Authority), Chief Fire Officer Kevin Pearson, John Boughton (Willmott Dixon)