Tim Passmore, Police and Crime Commissioner and Suffolk County Councillor Richard Rout, formally opened the new shared Police/Fire station in Beccles (Friday 30 August 2019), along with Chief Constable Steve Jupp and Deputy Chief Fire Officer Dan Fearn.
This is the eleventh shared community Fire and Police facility in Suffolk with stations already operating in Leiston, Newmarket, Saxmundham, Felixstowe, Woodbridge, Ixworth, Elmswell, Debenham, Framlingham and Clare. There are also plans for further joint stations in Stowmarket and Ipswich.
Complete refurbishment of fire station
The works involved part-demolition of the existing building to provide space for an extension for the Police officeThe new blue-light base was designed by Concertus Design & Property Consultants of Ipswich and constructed by Cocksedge Building Contractors of Mildenhall. The works involved part-demolition of the existing building to provide space for an extension for the Police office, locker space, interview rooms and the provision of shared welfare facilities to include toilets, showers, kitchen as well as a new community room for both organizations to utilize.
The existing Fire station area has been completely refurbished, with improved IT provision and enhancements to reduce the impact on the environment, alterations to the layout and operational areas as well as general improvements to the external signage and parking arrangements.
Financial support for the project was secured from the Home Office as part of central government’s drive for closer emergency services collaboration.
Financial benefits and operational improvements
Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner said: “The opening of this eleventh joint Police/Fire Station in Suffolk is very good news for the county. There are considerable financial benefits as well as significant operational improvements that this collaboration between our two organizations delivers for people and businesses across the county.
The old building will be converted into residential units in the coming months with apartments and new homes for the town"
“I am already looking forward to the next wave of shared facilities being developed. I am very proud that Suffolk continues to lead the way nationally in blue light collaboration.”
He added: “The sale of Beccles' old police station completes on the same day as we officially open the new one. The old building will be converted into residential units in the coming months with apartments and new homes for the town. All proceeds from the sale are returned to Suffolk's policing budget.”
Enables emergency services to work together
Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, Councillor Richard Rout, said: “Our partnerships provide our communities and staff with modern facilities and maintains our presence in the community. We are able to deliver savings on the cost of running multiple buildings and enables emergency services to work closely together in supporting the community they serve.
“The sharing of facilities has also opened up further opportunities to collaborate in areas of service delivery, improving efficiencies and engagement with members of the public. We have seen great benefits in developing 'blue light' stations with our partners in the police and the ambulance services in Suffolk. In addition to the 11 stations shared with the Constabulary, we also share a further five with the ambulance service.”