Woodbridge Community Police and Fire Station opens

Today (May 19) saw the grand official opening of the new shared Woodbridge Community Fire and Police Station in Theatre Street.
As part of Suffolk’s ongoing blue-light collaboration work the two services and the East of England Ambulance Service, have been working together and now share response bases in several locations across Suffolk.
Designed by Concertus, Woodbridge fire station has been adapted specifically to accommodate Fire and Police teams in Woodbridge and improve the facilities provided. Sharing property reduces costs and saves money for the taxpayer.
Today, Suffolk County Councillor Colin Spence and Tim Passmore, Police and Crime Commissioner, formally opened the £740,000 shared base, which includes new office accommodation for the Police, much improved facilities for staff, better community facilities for local residents wanting a space to hold meetings, improved access and welfare facilities for staff and the public and a new vehicle bay for the Fire and Rescue Service.
The base is designed to accommodate a team of on-call firefighters and their two emergency vehicles and the Police Local Safer Neighbourhood Team.
This is the fifth shared community fire and police facility in Suffolk with stations already operating in Ixworth, Elmswell, Debenham and Framlingham. In addition, Ambulance teams are also based at fire stations in Lowestoft and Brandon and plans to share at Bury St Edmunds are now at an advanced stage.
Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner said: “I am absolutely delighted to see another shared base for police and fire in the county and particularly pleased that we were able to secure additional Government funding to finance the project.
“Working together with other blue-light services is absolutely key to meeting the financial challenges that we face. The four existing shared stations across the county are working really well and we are seeing the benefits of reduced operating costs and improved joint working between our two key emergency services. I am committed to building on this shared working over the coming years.
Councillor Colin Spence, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for public protection said:
“I’m very proud of the achievements being made by our Fire, Police and Ambulance services to share property and the opening here today of the shared Community Fire and Police station in Woodbridge is another very positive step forward.
“The benefits of sharing property are now well established in Suffolk and there are plans in place to increase the number of shared bases over the next 2-3 years, using the grant funding we have received from the government.
The Police enquiry office and Safer Neighbourhood Team are expected to relocate to the new Community Fire and Police station in June, at which point the Following the opening of the Woodbridge shared base the existing police station in Grundisburgh Street will be closed. The sale of the old police station and a reduction in operating costs is expected to make “significant” savings.