Construction of new fire station provides skills boost to Knowsley

People across Knowsley have received a skills boost as part of leading NWCH Framework partner, Wates Construction’s work on the new Community Fire and Police Station in Prescot.

Work recently completed at the site, which replaces the former Prescot Police Station and the Whiston and Huyton fire stations. The new Community Fire and Police Station is a collaboration between NWCH, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Authority (MFRA), Merseyside Police, the Police and Crime Commissioner and Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council.

Throughout the year long build programme, Wates delivered a set of social and economic initiatives designed to ensure the work on Merseyside benefited the local economy.

Four apprentices joined the site team on the project, developing their skills across a range of trade based and administrative roles during a combined 136 weeks on site.

Wates also provided:

  • 19 training weeks for local people
  • 12 community and employment activities
  • Five educational events

These sessions allowed attendees to gain an insight on the various elements that go into a successful construction project, and police and fire staff were also on hand to advise on how best to ensure homes are kept safe and secure.

As part of Wates’ annual ‘Reshaping Tomorrow’ week, its national volunteering programme which sees the business’ 4,000 employees donate their time to help local good causes, staff from the contractor also joined forces with local members of MFRA’’s Prince’s Trust programme to assist with the creation of a new memorial building and heritage centre at Knowsley Cemetery in Whiston. The team helped clear the site in preparation for the start of building works, and assisted with grave levelling, turfing and creating hanging baskets for the cemetery.

The new site is the first fire station in Prescot since 1946, and comprises three fire engine bays and a drill tower than can be used for simulating and practicing different types of roof rescue. The new station also includes a kitchen, dining room, gym and two rooms available for free hire by community groups.

Tony Shenton, Business Unit Director, Wates Construction North West, commented: “It was a pleasure for our team to get to know the local community during this project, and we’re immensely proud to have provided a skills boost to local people, and to have contributed to important community causes such as the new memorial building and heritage centre at Knowsley Cemetery.

As we reflect on the project, we can be confident that the new Prescot Community Fire and Police Station will not only make Knowsley a safer place to live, but has also helped local residents make their first step towards a rewarding career in construction.”

The project was procured via the North West Construction Hub (NWCH) frameworks, which was established in 2009 in response to central government’s drive to improve efficiencies within the public sector. Social value is a staple of the frameworks and since that time, the NWCH has enabled the delivery of over 7,555 social value activities and 1,400 apprenticeship placements across the North West.

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