State-of-the-art emergency services hub opens in Stowmarket
A new police and fire station off Needham Road, Stowmarket, has now opened – providing the facilities needed to enable efficient, effective, and environmentally responsible emergency services for Suffolk.
Mid Suffolk District Council made a £431k contribution to the project through the Community Infrastructure Levy, with council leader Suzie Morley among the councillors attending the official opening today. It also received funding of £1.24m from central government.
Collaborative working remains a priority for Suffolk’s emergency services, who recognise that this provides excellent value for money and further benefits for the county’s communities.
Stowmarket’s new station, situated on the A1120 junction with the B1113 Needham Road, is the latest in a programme of joint blue light hubs across Suffolk. However, it is the first new build, as the other 12 combined fire and police facilities comprise of existing sites which have been extended or refurbished.
The building has a range of green credentials, including photovoltaic panels to convert the sun’s rays into electricity, an air source heat pump system, 14 electric vehicle charging points, and insulation informed by thermal modelling to ensure this is of the highest standard and reflects the needs of the hub’s users.
In addition, the station’s location will enable easy access to the A14, the local road network, and in and around Stowmarket, one of Suffolk’s largest market towns, helping to ensure a swift response to whatever emergencies may arise.
Other local dignitaries including Suffolk County councillors, Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, the Chief Constable, the county’s Chief Fire Officer, and Stowmarket’s Mayor, were also at the official opening.
Cllr David Burn, Mid Suffolk cabinet member for planning, said:
“Projects like these are exactly what CIL funding is earmarked for. The finish on the joint station is excellent and I am glad to see so much of the design contributing to reducing the building’s carbon footprint. This hub will be a great public resource for years to come.
“We will always achieve more working in partnership – this new station is no exception. I’d like to thank Suffolk County Council, our blue-light services, the Police and Crime Commissioner and our private sector partners for all their hard work.”
Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, commented:
“This brand new joint Police and Fire Station in Stowmarket brings to a conclusion one of the largest joint blue light estates programme in the country. This is a stellar achievement by everyone involved and shows what the power of collaboration can achieve when we all work towards a common objective. The whole project is great news for Suffolk as it provides excellent value for money for the hard-pressed taxpayer.
“The new station is ideally placed to help police the busy A14 expressway which directly links the nation’s largest container port to the rest of the country which continues to be a driver for economic growth, especially with the advent of Freeport East.
“I am especially grateful for the substantial contribution from Mid Suffolk District Council via the Community Infrastructure Levy, this has made a huge difference to our costs.”
Councillor Andrew Reid, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Public Protection, said:
“The state-of-the-art building cements Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service’s commitment to providing the best possible equipment and facilities for our staff to enable them to carry out their lifesaving work and maintain public safety efficiently and effectively."
Suffolk-based business Concertus designed the new station, which Morgan Sindall began constructing in July 2021.
Space has been provided within the station to accommodate the Salvation Army charity, which continues to provide welfare support to response staff during major incidents.
The hub may also be used in future by the East of England Ambulance Service as a drop-in facility for their crews, enabling truly joined-up working for Suffolk’s three emergency services.