A new Blue Light Hub has officially opened in Cumbria creating a new operational base for the county’s fire and rescue service, police and North West Ambulance Service.
The multi-million pound Furness Peninsular Blue Light Hub, located next to the A590 in Ulverston, is a combined emergency response centre, which brings together blue light services under one roof for the first time in the south of the county.
Cumbria County Council has delivered the combined Blue Light Hub facility, which includes: operational facilities such as breathing apparatus workshop, drying room for firefighters’ PPE and equipment storage; f ire house and tower training facility; road traffic collision area for training scenarios; appliance bay accommodating two fire engines and one ambulance; office accommodation for Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, Cumbria Police and NWAS; and conference/meeting room facilities.
Cllr Janet Willis, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Fire and Rescue, said, “I’m absolutely thrilled to see the completion of this fantastic new facility, which will bring blue light services together and benefit the local community. Working together under one roof will provide even greater opportunities for collaboration with our blue light partners and will also deliver significant savings to the public purse.”
Cllr David E Southward MBE, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Economic Development and Property, said, “This new building provides a range of facilities for the fire and rescue service, including the fire house where firefighters can train in a smoke-filled environment. This facility hasn’t been available in South Cumbria previously, so firefighters had to travel to Penrith to the closest fire training facility. This improvement creates greater training opportunities in the area and reduces travel time for staff.”
John Beard, Cumbria County Council’s Chief Fire Officer, said, “The Furness Peninsular Blue Light Hub provides much improved facilities for our staff in the Ulverston area. The building is also ideally located next to the A590 main road in Furness, which will help to maintain a rapid response to emergency incidents. We’re looking forward to working alongside our blue light partners and maximising opportunities for even closer collaboration.”
Superintendent for South Cumbria, Matt Pearman, said, “When the emergency services and other partner agencies work together the whole community benefits. The new hub will see experienced police officers working alongside colleagues from Cumbria Fire and Rescue, North West Ambulance Service, Cumbria County Council and others. This will result in all agencies having a greater understanding of what is going on in the community and an enhanced ability to tackle the issues most important to the public.”
Roger Jones, NWAS Head of Service for Cumbria and Lancashire, said, “This is a much needed step to upgrade the facilities at Ulverston and ultimately this new location should improve our response times to the public. There are many advantages to working so closely with our blue light and local authority partners, while the investment also delivers better value for money. The new station provides adequate space for current emergency and patient transport vehicles, and I’m sure our staff are excited to be working from a fresh, modern building.”
Cumbria County Council secured £4.9m from the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Fire Transformation Fund for the Blue Light Hub project. Fire and rescue service staff have moved into the new hub, which replaces the old fire station on The Ellers, Ulverston.
A video to mark the opening of the Furness Peninsular Blue Light Hub can be watched below.