Work has begun on what will be the biggest and most modern station in Hampshire.
A ground-breaking ceremony was held today (Thursday, May 26) to mark the start of the building work on the bespoke facility in Basingstoke.
When completed the station will also be one of the most important, strategically, in the county.
The new £6-million building will be on the existing West Ham Close site, which has comprehensive road links, enabling vehicles to attend incidents as quickly as possible.
The recently demolished facility had been built in the 1960s.
Due to the cost of its upkeep and advances in firefighting tactics, it was decided, in 2012, following extensive consultation, that a new, purpose-built station would be created.
The station, being built by Kier Construction Southern, will include a training hub and public rooms that can be used by local groups.
This will enhance the fire service’s position at the heart of the community.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Head of Service, Iain Hardcastle, said: “This is a modern station for a modern era.
“The new building will provide the people of Basingstoke and Hampshire with an excellent facility and give the fire service the chance to work more closely with their partners.
“As well as attending incidents, crews at this station will play a key role in prevention, training and community engagement.”
The work will also include an improvement to public access.
There will be no disruption to the service, with the crews already working from temporary on-site accommodation.
Chris Lawrence, Kier’s commercial manager, said: “We’re pleased to be working with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service on this much-needed new facility and we carefully selected our design and engineering teams for their expertise working on Staffordshire and Weymouth fire stations.
“It will be equipped with facilities for both firefighters and the local community to become an asset in the local area and meet the demands required by a modern fire service.”