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Fire Station Upgrades Across Cheshire Approved

Thursday, January 2nd, 2020 8:03am

By Stephen Topping, Local Democracy Reporter.

Runcorn will be one of the first to be upgraded.

Fire chiefs have been given the go-ahead to transform three of their ageing stations in Middlewich, Sandbach and Runcorn.

The three stations are set to be among the first to benefit from the Cheshire Fire Authority’s £8.5 million refurbishment programme for 21 fire stations over a five-year period.

Cheshire East Council has granted planning permission for improvement works at Middlewich and Sandbach fire stations, while Halton Borough Council has given the green light for Runcorn.

Meanwhile, plans to renovate Birchwood fire station are still being considered by Warrington Borough Council.

Cheshire Fire Authority hopes to start work on all four stations in mid-February for completion by September 2020.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service revealed in April that Middlewich and Sandbach fire stations would be among the first to be renovated – news that was welcomed by Fiona Bruce, Conservative MP for Congleton.

She said: “I’m full of respect for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service – I think they have done an excellent job over many years not just with tackling fire, but with helping to prevent fires.

“I am delighted that they are investing in these upgrades and I know they will be done to a high level like the Alsager station [which opened in 2016].”

Renovation at Bollington and Tarporley fire stations took place earlier this year.

Audlem, Holmes Chapel, Northwich and Widnes stations are expected to be the next group of four to be upgraded.

The programme will then benefit stations in Congleton, Knutsford, Ellesmere Port and Malpas, before Macclesfield, Poynton, Frodsham and Winsford stations are upgraded.

It is expected to be completed in 2024 with the renovation of Nantwich, Wilmslow and Stockton Heath fire stations.

Cheshire Fire Authority approved the programme at the September 2018 meeting, where members were told that Runcorn, Macclesfield and Ellesmere Port stations would require the most work to be brought up to scratch.

A report presented at that meeting said that of the 21 stations to be renovated, 11 were built in the 1960s, six are from the 1970s, one was built in the 1980s and three are from the 1990s.

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