New ambulance centre to be built in Lostock Hall after paramedics given notice to quit Preston fire station

A new ambulance hub is to be built near Preston after paramedic crews were given notice to quit the city's fire station.

By Brian Ellis
Friday, 13th May 2022, 3:45 pm

And bosses at Lancashire Fire and Rescue have revealed why they can no longer share the premises on Blackpool Road with their fellow 999 service.

North West Ambulance (NWAS) has applied for planning permission to construct a temporary station on land previously used by Lunar Caravans in Lostock Hall.

The modular building off Sherdley Road will house up to 23 vehicles and 37 staff and could be in operation within months.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Ambulance crews have been given notice to quit Preston fire station.

Read More

Read More
'Lives could be lost' if Lancashire's three ambulance repair shops are merged c...

NWAS chiefs say they have no option but to move because their lease at Preston fire station is about to expire "without the possibility for renewal."

Ambulances and fire appliances have been sharing the Blackpool Road site for the past eight years. The lease is up in September.

But LF&R say they now require the space taken up by NWAS as they prepare to redevelop the Preston station.

The former Lunar Caravans store yard in Lostock Hall will house the new ambulance hub.

And they have revealed it was the ambulance service which told them back in 2020 that a joint fire and paramedic station on that site was not part of its future strategy

A fire brigade spokesman explained: "Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service has plans to develop the facilities on Blackpool Road and move some of our non-operational teams to the site.

"To facilitate these improvements and cost efficiencies, the service needs the space that North West Ambulance Service currently utilises and as such the lease will not be renewed.

"In 2020 Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and North West Ambulance Service extended the agreement for sharing facilities at Preston Fire Station until 30 September 2022.

Ambulances have shared Preston fire station for eight years.

"Prior to this agreement, the service consulted with North West Ambulance Service on their future plans and they confirmed that a joint fire and ambulance station on this site did not fit with their strategy."

Ambulance crews moved in alongside the fire service in March 2014 after their previous station in Deepdale Road was declared unsafe due to subsidence.

Those premises, next door to the Preston Bus depot, had been their home in the city since 1964.

The plans to move to Lostock Hall will mean the bulk of ambulances will be based in the south of the city for the first time in decades.

North West Ambulance has applied for planning permission for a temporary station on the site.

The ambulance service has hinted that the sharing arrangement with the fire brigade was always meant to be temporary until a new station could be built.

In its planning application for Sherdley Road it says: "Given the nature of the work undertaken by the NWAS, it is paramount that a new site is found; one that is strategically positioned to best serve the NHS and the local population.

"The application site is considered ideal insofar as it is in close proximity to the M65 and M6 motorway accesses."

NWAS says it originally planned a larger station on the vacant Lostock Hall site - incorporating a training centre - which would have involved demolishing some industrial buildings that remain there.

But in talks last year with council officers it had decided to scale back its plans to a "temporary" scheme for a modular building with parking and vehicle washing facilities.

The application is only for a three-year period, suggesting the service could have bigger plans for the future.