PRESTON’S ageing fire station has been condemned by brigade bosses as the most run-down in Lancashire.
The Blackpool Road base, which also houses an ambulance depot, is in urgent need of a £3.5m facelift to make it fit for purpose, says a report into the state of the county’s emergency service.
But cuts in funding mean it will be at least two years before improvement works can begin, according to the latest survey of Lancashire’s 39 fire stations.
Service chiefs confess the poor conditions are “having a detrimental effect on service delivery” in the city – although a spokesman stressed the problems were not slowing the brigade’s response to emergencies.
“Firefighters are very resourceful and cope,” said a spokesman. “They are as efficient as they have ever been, despite the conditions. This report is an honest and open one. It spells out what needs to be done at Preston. But everyone knows the restraints we have (with funding).”
Preston fire station was built in 1962 and has seven bays, although only five are occupied by appliances.
The report reveals it scores poorly on the condition of the building and its suitability as a fire station. Its running costs are more than £300,000 a year. The building is said to need re-roofing and re-wiring, amongst other major works. It also has lots of empty rooms, is difficult to heat efficiently and has no disabled access.
It is one of four fire brigade premises which are deemed to be a priority for improvement – Carnforth fire station is another, along with brigade headquarters in Fulwood and the service training centre at Chorley.
Carnforth would only cost around £200,000 to extend and refurbish the station. And both Fulwood and Chorley have been put on ice until a decision is made on whether to amalgamate the two.