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Fire brigade ready to take over mothballed regional control
1:33pm Wednesday 21st August 2013 in News
A FIRE brigade has set the date for its move to the building once destined to be a regional control centre.
The County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service is leaving its ageing headquarters in the Framwellgate Moor area of Durham City.
From Monday, September 2 the brigade’s base will be on the outskirts of the city at the Belmont Business Park.
The building it is moving to was originally to have been a new joint control centre for all North-East brigades.
But the plan, along with similar schemes elsewhere in the country, were dropped by the incoming coalition Government in 2010 amid concern about the costs.
A total of £500m had been spent on the schemes and the Durham building stood empty at a cost of £100,000 a month.
The city fire station based at headquarters is due to be replaced by a new station near the Sniperley Park and Ride and a new training centre is set to be built at Bowburn.
The existing headquarters site at Framwellgate Moor came to the end of its useful life ten years ago and has become too expensive to maintain.
Councillor Michele Hodgson, chairman of the Fire Authority, said: “The new headquarters is central to our plans to modernise other parts of the estate including a new fire station for Durham.
“The authority has received financial support from Government to help us adapt the building so that it functions as a headquarters as well as a command and control centre.
“We have had a positive impact on the local economy in the process with over 60 per cent of the people working on the re-fit drawn from the local labour force.”
Chief Executive Susan Johnson said she was delighted with the new facilities.
“As technology has developed and the way we work has changed, we recognised that to plan for the future we needed an environmentally friendly and economically viable building," she said.
"It is fantastic to see this excellent building put to good use for the benefit of the people of County Durham and Darlington.”
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