Ten new fire stations are to be built in a £46 million-pound project in Staffordshire.
The privately funded project will see three entirely new stations being built in Belgrave, Tamworth, as well as in Rising Brook, Stafford, and in Sandyford, between Kidsgrove and Burslem in north Staffordshire, to serve a growing local population.
A further seven existing stations in Tamworth, Cannock, Uttoxeter, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Hanley, Burslem and Kidsgrove will be knocked down and rebuilt. The station replacing the old one in Tamworth, which was built in 1937 and is one of the oldest in the country, will provide 24-hour cover, rather than the present 9 to 9 service.
The buildings will include gyms, as well as facilities for community groups, and areas where courses will be given to trainee firefighters.
Chief Fire Officer Peter Dartford, of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We are leading the way in the UK with these purpose built community embracing fire stations.
“Our current fire stations were built at a time when we were almost solely a reactive service just responding to emergencies, they were certainly not built for the pro-active service we are today or the service we are going to be in the future – sitting at the heart of the community.
“These buildings have been specifically designed to be inviting to the public and they allow for the integration of the community within the fire station.”