Search for new HQ for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service still on
16:00 10 May 2014
Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service is continuing its search for a new location for its headquarters after an unsuccessful bid on a vacant building in St Ives.
An independent survey carried out on the premises at Hinchingbrooke Cottage in Huntingdon highlighted “environmental difficulties” with the current building. An offer was made for a potential replacement but a higher offer has now been accepted.
Matthew Warren, director of resources at Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We are currently looking at a number of different options for a new headquarters site, as well as the fire station and training centre in Huntingdon. This is to ensure we are getting the best possible value from our property portfolio.
“The options will be assessed and presented to the Fire Authority later this year for consideration.”
Cambridgeshire Fire Authority is also reviewing a number of stations across the county, including Huntingdon. As home to the training centre, the site is significant in size but the documents from the Fire Authority Resources Committee on April 24 draw attention to a number of issues.
The documents state: “The size itself is prohibitive from a training perspective as the car park encroaches onto the training centre, providing little room to perform drills and exercises.”
It will now look at whether a combined site is still suitable or whether to separate the training centre from the station. It will also consider whether to provide housing as part of the scheme to redevelop the site, similar to but on a smaller scale than Parkside in Cambridge.
Yaxley Fire Station has been deemed unfit for purpose, and despite efforts to find a suitable replacement, one has not yet been found. Designs are currently being developed to rebuild the station on the existing site.
A possible relocation of Papworth Fire Station to Cambourne will be considered in light of the Government approval for the relocation of Papworth Hospital to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.