Work has commenced on a sustainable tri-service station which will become home to officers from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS), Northumbria Police and North East Ambulance Service.
The new station, which will be built by North of England contractor Esh Construction, is set to be the first of its kind in the country to be carbon neutral.
A breaking ground ceremony officially marked the start on site for the emergency services hub which is set to drive forward blue light services’ commitments to minimise carbon footprint.
The hub is located on a vacant site between Marine Drive and Campbell Park Road in Hebburn and is expected to be operational by Spring 2024. It will include staff accommodation and appliance bays for emergency vehicles, as well as a free-standing training building. Externally, the site will feature charging ports, with a view to all three services having a fleet of electric vehicles.
Modern sustainable technologies will be utilised throughout the hub, including solar photo voltaic roof panels, ground source heat pumps and a rainwater harvesting and re-use system. A wildflower meadow will feature among the landscaping of the grounds to help promote local biodiversity.
Andy Radcliffe, Chief Executive of Esh Group, said: “It was a pleasure to be part of the breaking ground ceremony and to experience how significant this development is for the local area. As we all work towards a carbon neutral future, this is a pioneering scheme which can lead the way for sustainable blue light buildings.
“At Esh we pride ourselves on creating a legacy in the communities surrounding our construction sites. As such, we will harness the benefits of our strong regional presence to deliver a wealth of social value initiatives which includes re-investing more than 65% of the project spend within Tyne and Wear by procuring local labour and supply.”
Esh Construction will engage with local schools to deliver employability workshops, arrange presentations to promote safety around a live construction site, and provide volunteers and donations to support worthy causes throughout the project.
Chris Lowther, Chief Fire Officer of Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “It was a proud moment to play my part in the beginning stages of Hebburn Tri Station’s community journey. This is an important building for not only the residents of Hebburn and Jarrow but also the wider regions of Tyne and Wear.
“The building represents the unification of blue light colleagues being based under the one roof, and it also shows our commitment towards promoting the values of carbon neutral facilities.
“This is a very significant project for the Fire Authority as the new Tri Station is being funded as part of its Capital Programme scheme showing crucial investment for emergency service provisions that will be beneficial for generations to come.”
Procured via the North East Procurement Organisation (NEPO), Esh will work in partnership with TWFRS, Sunderland City Council’s Capital Projects Team, Desco and Todd Milburn to deliver the scheme.