A sod-cutting ceremony took place today to mark the beginning of construction work on a new fire station in Ossett.
Councillor Tracey Austin, Vice Chair of the Fire Authority, sank a gleaming spade into the ground at the new site at Mothers Way. West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) District Commander for Wakefield Tim Jones was in attendance alongside Fire Service managers.
Ossett Councillor Angela Taylor, who also sits on the Fire Authority, was in attendance as well as contracting company bosses and architects.
The fire station is relocating from Dale Street, Ossett, to nearer Wakefield city centre, as part of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority’s Integrated Risk Management Plan. The new location, at Junction 40 of the M1, will enable crews to support the Combined Aerial Rescue Pump based in Wakefield when the second appliance at Wakefield Fire Station has been removed.
The soil-breaking event will mark the start of a 52-week construction programme. The station is expected to be operational from November 2016.
When open, the station is expected to house one fire engine and 24 firefighters working across four shifts.
The two-storey brick building will have a steel clad roof and two appliance bays. It will house a gym, kitchen, multi-purpose room – which will be available for use to the public – and a Young Firefighters training facility on the ground floor. Upstairs will include six study bedrooms and shared toilet and wash facilities.
Councillor Judith Hughes, Chair of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority, said: “The new, state-of-the-art fire station in Ossett represents a significant investment in the local community. The new station shows that, despite financial challenges, we are committed to providing a first class, modern fire service.”
Councillor Tracey Austin, Vice Chair of the Authority, added: “I’m very pleased to have carried out the honours at the sod-cutting for the new Ossett Fire Station which will facilitate Ossett and surrounding areas.
“This marks the start of a very exciting project in Wakefield district and I am looking forward to seeing the new station taking shape.”
District Commander Tim Jones said: “The district team are very excited about the new station project which will provide Ossett with a fantastic facility. The service we offer the public will also be enhanced by the provision of a swift water rescue capability from Ossett.”