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A NEW community fire and ambulance station is set to be built in Wigan with a contractor now being appointed to deliver the £3.9million development project.
The project between Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) and North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) and the selected contractor, Willmott Dixon, is currently in the concept design stage and it is envisaged that building work will commence in 2016.
The station will replace the existing fire station in Robin Park Road in the centre of Wigan and will see firefighters and paramedics work side by side from the site.
Design for the new station is underway involving staff at both of the emergency services and the unions, along with Willmott Dixon.
Chairman of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor David Acton, said: “We are pleased to announce that we have selected a contractor to build the new station in Wigan that will replace the existing building in Robin Park Road.
“We are also pleased to be working side by side with North West Ambulance Service again. The project will allow us to further improve our relationship as well as make financial savings over the years, similarly to the project in Irlam which sees fire, ambulance and police work together.
“Appointing Willmott Dixon is a milestone for the project and managers are working with staff at both services and members of the public to achieve the desired end result.
“The community fire station will be an important part of the local community and will include a room for use by community partners, groups and adult education providers and a gymnasium.”
It is hoped that the project will see GMFRS and NWAS achieve a superior Building Research Establishment Environmental Method (BREEAM) accreditation - a measure of a building's carbon footprint and positive impact on the environment.
NWAS, Director of Operations, Derek Cartwright said: “This is an extremely exciting and positive venture for our two organisations. NWAS already very successfully shares premises with both fire and police colleagues throughout the region but the design concepts for this particular site herald a new model of working for the Trust.
“We are very much looking forward to following the progress on this project and have worked closely with our staff and union representatives to ensure it fulfils all of their expectations.”
A spokesperson for Willmott Dixon said: “We are delighted to be working with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and North West Ambulance Service to deliver the new combined community fire and ambulance station.
“Currently in the design stage of this exciting new concept, we are working closely with the client team to make the sure the proposals include all the facilities required as well as provide excellent value for money.”