New community fire stations are to be built in Lichfield and Chase Terrace as part of a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) project approved by the Government.
The two stations are joined by 9 more throughout Staffordshire which are to be re-built. Following unconditional Treasury approval by the previous Government, the £50 million project was reviewed by the new coalition as part of a wider PFI review and approved.
Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive, Peter Dartford said,
We are absolutely delighted that we now have the approval for the rebuild of these fire stations reaffirmed. This is great news for both our staff and the communities who will benefit from these new facilities. We were confident that our business case for the project was strong and we have proven experience with our first PFI scheme of delivering to budget, however in these unprecedented economic times we could take nothing for granted.
The new Government clearly has confidence in us successfully delivering this project and they have recognised how these new community focused fire stations support their key priorities. These new facilities will allow us to empower our communities to become safer and stronger, therefore contributing to the Government’s ‘Big Society’ vision. Like never before we will be able to engage and educate the community in a positive, interactive way.
Chairman of the Fire and Rescue Authority, Cllr Len Bloomer said,
A significant amount of work and effort has already gone into this project, so we are pleased that it can progress as planned.
In their current state these fire stations are proving costly to maintain and they no longer suit the requirements of the modern, proactive fire and rescue service we have in Staffordshire. So to get this funding has been absolutely crucial.