Work on new fire station at Hicks Gate reaches halfway point - but Keynsham HQ 'up in air'

Published on: 02 Oct 2015

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Six months after the project began, construction work on Keynsham’s new fire station has reached the halfway point.

A steel frame and floors have been created at the site next to Hicks Gate roundabout and work to clad the structure is under way.

Crews from Keynsham and Brislington fire stations will be amalgamated at the site, which is expected to open early next year as a full-time fire station.

Chairman of Avon Fire Authority, Councillor Peter Abraham, said: “I’m delighted with the progress being made at Hicks Gate, which will be the first brand new fire station opened in Avon since 1980.

“Work remains on target for the station to be operational in early 2016, providing vital services to the whole area and to the communities of Keynsham and Brislington in particular.”

The new fire station at Hicks Gate is being built by Willmott Dixon and will cost £6.2 million.

The project is part of Avon Fire and Rescue Service’s Investing for the Future Programme, which is designed to save the service £4.5million a year.

Meanwhile, plans to move the fire authority’s HQ from Bristol city centre to the site of Keynsham’s existing fire station in Temple Street have been described as “up in the air”, despite plans having been drawn up by architects and submitted to B&NES planning officers.

Keynsham councillor Alan Hale, who is also a member of Avon Fire Authority, said he was told at the body’s most recent meeting that other options were being looked at – in particular a ready-built office unit in Emersons Green with more scope for parking than in Keynsham. He said: “I understand that Emersons Green is seen as possibly a cheaper option.

"I have expressed my disappointment and concern to the chair of the authority because as far as planning officers were concerned everything was running towards having the right type of building in place here in Keynsham.”

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