- Tuesday, 10 February 2015 09:00
The newly refurbished Kingswood Fire Station has reopened and become fully operational from Tuesday 10 February.
The station was closed in May 2014 when work began to expand and upgrade facilities. The newly refurbished fire station will be home to two fire engines, a command unit and a command support unit. It will also include a community safety centre for use by the community.
The refurbishment works at Kingswood Fire Station were carried out by Willmott Dixon at a cost of £1.6 million, a substantial amount of which will be paid for by a £1.050 million grant from the Government.
Firefighters are moving into the refurbished site from today (Tuesday 10 February) and will be responding to 999 calls immediately.
As part of Avon Fire & Rescue Service’s Investing for the Future programme, the expansion of Kingswood Fire Station will enable its merger with nearby Speedwell Fire Station, which will close its doors on the same day.
Chair of Avon Fire Authority, Councillor Terry Walker, said: “Avon Fire Authority made the decision last year to merge Kingswood and Speedwell fire stations as part of a wider programme of improvements that would reduce our expenditure.
“Since 2010 we have made £6.6 million of savings and efficiencies with further annual savings of £4.5 million needed in order to deal with the reductions we face in our budget over the next few years.
“We have so far been able to make these savings without the need for compulsory redundancies and ensuring that frontline services are protected. Through our Investing for the Future programme we are committed to ensuring we continue this pledge.
“The new Kingswood Fire Station will provide state-of-the-art facilities and ensure the excellent service we provide to the community continues.”
Avon Fire & Rescue Service Chief Fire Officer, Kevin Pearson, said: “The reopening of the newly refurbished Kingswood Fire Station marks the completion of the first of a number of improvements we are making under our Investing for the Future programme. The station has been brought right up to date to provide a great working environment for our staff. It also has a community room which offers free meeting space and access to IT facilities completely free of charge.
“Although Speedwell Fire Station will close I would like to reassure members of the local community that the response standards for the area remain unchanged. Fire engines will continue to respond to all 999 calls within eight minutes.
“The Speedwell Fire Station site has been sold to Bristol City Council and their plan is to build an educational establishment there. This will be a fantastic asset for the local community so we are pleased the site will continue to serve local people in a positive way.”
Paul Jacobs, Service Director for Education and Skills at Bristol City Council says: “We are delighted to have been able to acquire this site as it provides us with a wonderful opportunity to provide education places in a location where we know there is a shortage. We are also very pleased to be retaining a community service on the site. We are currently developing a new education strategy that will determine what specific use the site will be put to. This information will be available by the autumn of 2015.”
For more information on the Investing for the Future programme click here.