Posted: Friday 14 October 2022, 10:06
The planned build of a new fire station for Glossop has been deferred to give Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service (DFRS) the opportunity to assess the rising cost of the project.
A new fire station at Glossop was part of the Services estates programme of work that was scheduled to deliver three new fire stations for Derbyshire, at Matlock, New Mills and Glossop by 2025.
The original plans for Glossop costed the project at £3.3m. Since these plans were submitted, building material costs and interest rates have continued to rise with final tenders showing the impact of the current economic climate. The revised estimated cost of a new build at Glossop is in excess of £6m.
Speaking following the decision to defer the new build project at Glossop, Derbyshire’s Deputy Chief Fire Officer Rob Taylor said: “A decision has been taken to defer the new build fire station planned for Glossop due to the economic downturn and volatile market conditions which are affecting both the cost of materials and interest rates on borrowing.
“It is simply not responsible to commit to such a cost in the midst of a particularly challenging economic time. To do so has the potential to force us in to considering more difficult decisions that may negatively affect our Service Delivery.
“It is important however, that I make it clear to the community of Glossop and surrounding areas, that both the Service and the Fire and Rescue Authority remain committed to building a new fire station at Glossop. This deferment is a temporary measure to allow us to reimagine the current plans and explore progressing a different and more cost-effective new build solution.”
Several options were considered before it was agreed to defer the plans for Glossop. On advice from the Services’ property team, to stop and scrap the plan to build a new station at Glossop was not an option. A refurbishment could still cost the Service in excess of £2m and do nothing to lengthen the structural life of the current station building. Therefore, the decision was taken to defer the project for up to 18 months allowing time to reimagine the plans and capitalise on any upward trend in market conditions
DCFO Taylor went onto say: “We have a duty to ensure we seek best value and efficiency savings in everything we do, as well as delivering an effective emergency service to the communities of Derbyshire. With this in mind, I am confident that we are taking the right action to address a 100% rise in projected costs for this project.
“We will now take the time to explore if a different footprint at Glossop could potentially deliver a smarter and more environmentally sustainable solution, while ensuring we still have the same emergency response available from that base.
“Our commitment remains to deliver a modern, purpose-built station for crews and local communities.”
Further new build projects
Glossop was the first of three new build stations on our estates programme which included plans for Matlock and New Mills.
A similar ‘defer’ decision has already been communicated about New Mills Station.
The planned new build at Matlock is currently proceeding as we await the estimated cost of that project.