Cheshire Fire Authority has agreed to carry out a programme of works which will modernise 21 of their fire stations, including the Wilmslow one.
At a meeting on Wednesday, 19th September, members of the Fire Authority agreed to proceed with the programme which is expected to be delivered over a five and a half year period at an anticipated cost of £8.5m.
Andrew Leadbetter, Director of Governance and Commissioning said ""This investment is really important to ensure that our firefighters and staff have a modern, comfortable and practical working environment in which to operate.
"Our fire stations across Cheshire vary in size, age, layout and condition, with a large proportion of them from the 1960s and 1970s. Their use has changed over time, and these days they're generally larger than required.
"Their condition has been deteriorating and, while some investment has been made down the years, it has not been of a sufficient level to keep up with demand.
"Our new fire stations have shown us what a modern facility should be like and what we should be aspiring to provide in all of our stations across the county."
Condition surveys were produced following inspections that took place in January 2017 and the works fell into the following general descriptions:
- Repair/replacement, e.g. recovering an existing roof which is leaking or in poor condition, including any structural repair;
- Modernisation/improvement, e.g. replacing worn out or dilapidated elements with higher performing products such as double glazed windows or better insulation and creating purpose-built gym areas;
- Aesthetic, e.g. updated colours and finishes with the potential to create a 'corporate' image.
Three of the 21 stations have been identified as requiring full remodelling because there has been a significant change in crewing and utilisation of the space. These are Ellesmere Port, Macclesfield and Runcorn.
Six have been identified as requiring some alteration work and remedial work. These are Birchwood, Widnes, Wilmslow, Congleton, Bollington and Warrington.
Whilst twelve station are considered fit for use but require remedial work. These are Nantwich, Malpas, Holmes Chapel, Tarporley, Poynton, Stockton Heath, Northwich, Middlewich, Winsford, Frodsham, Sandbach and Audlem.