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Sun November 28 2021

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Willmott Dixon gets the nod for Horsham fire station

16 Nov Willmott Dixon has been selected by West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service to build a new fire station and training centre in Horsham.

The new fire station will boast state-of-the-art firefighter training facilities
The new fire station will boast state-of-the-art firefighter training facilities

Work is expected to begin in the next few weeks after West Sussex County Council dug out extra money for the project.

With delays related to the Covid pandemic and spiralling construction inflation, the original £21m budget became insufficient to cover costs. According to the local County Times, the council approved the extra spend last month, although the extent of the cost escalation has yet to be revealed.

The Fire & Rescue Service told the paper: “Like many other specialist construction projects around the country, we have been impacted by the disruption of the coronavirus pandemic and pressures in the construction industry around staff and materials.

“Over the summer we have been working hard to resolve some contractual elements that are key to the success of the project. These have now been resolved, allowing us to progress onto the next stages of this project.”

The new Horsham fire station will be a 24-hour operational fire station with residential amenities as well as a fully-fitted training centre with a combined training tower and breathing apparatus facility, a live fire training area, an incident command training facility, a car crash training area and rooms for digital simulations.

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Solar panels and air source heat pumps will provide heating.

Russell Miller, director at Willmott Dixon’s Crawley office, said: “With the focus on decarbonising property, renewable energy will be at the heart of this, keeping with our own sustainability objectives that all new buildings we deliver after 2030 should be net zero carbon in use.”

It is the latest in a series of ‘blue-light’ projects for Willmott Dixon, following the handover last month of a new HQ for Merseyside Police in the centre of Liverpool. It is currently building an £18m custody suite for Bedfordshire Police alongside a £20m state-of-the-art control centre and operational support building for Humberside Police.  As well as Merseyside’s new headquarters, it was behind a new combined campus for Lincolnshire Fire, Police and Ambulance services and a Custody Centre and Operational Hub for Devon and Cornwall Constabulary in Exeter.

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