Work to start on 999 base

An artist's impression of the new joint fire and ambulance station in Wigan
An artist's impression of the new joint fire and ambulance station in Wigan

A ceremony is to be held later this month to mark the official start to construction of Wigan’s pioneering joint fire and ambulance base.

Dignitaries will gather at Robin Park Road on October 14 - where in recent weeks most of the old fire headquarters has been razed - for a steel-signing ceremony.

Reader Colm Hobbs sent in this picture of Wigan's age-old fire station at the Saddle Junction being demolished

Reader Colm Hobbs sent in this picture of Wigan's age-old fire station at the Saddle Junction being demolished

The joint venture involves Greater Manchester Fire And Rescue Service and North West Ambulance Service with contractor Willmott Dixon sees two emergency services sharing a same base in the borough for the first time.

Firefighters and officers are working from temporary accommodation on site while the work continues.

Bosses say that the project makes both logistical and financial sense. The Pottery Road ambulance station will close once the new HQ has been completed next summer.

Chairman of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, Coun David Acton, said: “The project is fantastic news for GMFRS, NWAS and the people of Wigan who will benefit from several features, which will include a community room and a gymnasium.

“It means we can further improve our relationship with the ambulance service as well as make financial savings over the years.”

It is hoped that the project will see GMFRS and NWAS achieve a superior Building Research Establishment Environmental Method accreditation - a measure of a building’s carbon footprint and positive impact on the environment.

NWAS’s Greater Manchester head of service Steve Hynes said: “We’re very much looking forward to moving into this bespoke building once complete.”

At the 11.30am ceremony on October 14, representatives from GMFRS and NWAS will sign a piece of steel which will be fixed into the structure of the new building.