Press release: St Helens Community Fire Station

FIREFIGHTERS have officially moved into the new state-of-the-art Community Fire Station in St Helens.

The £7.7m purpose-build station, constructed on unused land at Pilkington Glass Watson Street site, officially became operational on Friday, October 16.

St Helens is one of four community fire stations to be delivered via the NWCH for Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, other stations include Saughall Massie Community Fire Station, Prescot Community Fire Station and Toxteth Fire Fit hub.

The project has seen the demolition, bulk excavation and ground re-engineering of the former Pilkington’s glass manufacturing facility and previously a coal mining colliery. A heavily contaminated site requiring extensive remediation and ground engineering. This two-storey, three bay Fire Accommodation Project situated on Violet Way, St Helens, incorporates a training tower, community and prevention rooms, lecture rooms and full FF&E fit out.

Staffed 24/7, the station will be home to 38 firefighters and three fire engines, with one engine crewed by whole time firefighters, a second crewed through the daytime and the third crewed by whole time retained firefighters. The station will also be home to two combined platform ladders.

This project exceeded NWCH targets for training weeks, work placements, apprenticeship weeks and community activities with a Client Satisfaction KPI score of 100% for Construction.

“This is a ground-breaking day for Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service and the communities of St Helens. This fit-for-purpose station means we are able to continue providing the best possible service to the people of St Helens, while also providing our firefighters with the facilities they rightly deserve. 

This development would not have been possible had it not been for Wates Construction. They have been exceptional and have gone above and beyond to ensure the station was ready to go operational on time, in spite of the challenges we have faced as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”

Phil Garrigan, Chief Fire Officer

“The project has been extremely well managed and constructed on a difficult brownfield site with a number of challenging ground conditions due to the historical industrial use of the site. To deliver the station ahead of programme during the Covid-19 pandemic is testimony to the commitment and dedication of the whole project and construction team. The quality and finish at handover is exceptional.”

Stewart Woods, Head of Estates at Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service

“It is a huge privilege to have delivered this project on behalf of Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service who have continued to support the community in many ways throughout the life of the project. I am proud of the efforts that the project team have made on this fantastic new facility. It has been inspiring to witness the community effort that has been made.

The pandemic presented major challenges to our projects, our business and our industry as a whole, but it has brought to the fore the importance of working as a team. For St Helens Community Fire Station, the health, safety and wellbeing of our customer, everyone working on the project and the wider public has always been our top priority.

We could not have delivered this fantastic project without the support of our strategic supply chain partners and would like to say a big thank you to each and every one of them.”

Jamie Bawden – Wates Project Manager

“We would like to offer our massive congratulations and thanks to Wates for completing what is now their fourth fire station as part of the NWCH Frameworks. The commitment and dedication to delivering this and other state of the art facilities is nothing short of astounding. This work combined with their drive to ensure community investment through collaborative initiatives means we have a project we at the Hub are all truly proud of”

Ian Hall, NWCH Framework Lead

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