Leek’s new community fire station was officially opened during a special ceremony.
"The new community fire station in Leek is already proving to be a real hub for local people and organisations. Like all of the PFI 2 facilities, it was designed with two purposes in mind - to meet the needs of a 21st Century fire and rescue service as well as providing a valuable meeting space, free of charge, for community groups."
Station Manager Carl Mason
Chief Fire Officer Becci Bryant attended the celebration and Rt Hon Karen Bradley, MP for Staffordshire Moorlands and Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, performed the official opening.
Leek Station Manager Carl Mason also attended the event on Friday, along with Chairman of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Authority Councillor Stephen Sweeney.
Following the opening ceremony, guests were treated to a tour of the station, including both the operational and community facilities. The crew also put on an animal rescue display and the V4 concept car was showcased.
The £3.4 million community fire station has replaced the outdated base on Springfield Road which became operational in 1971. It was designed to enable firefighters to respond more efficiently and effectively to 21st Century emergencies.
Station Manager Carl Mason said: "The new community fire station in Leek is already proving to be a real hub for local people and organisations. Like all of the PFI 2 facilities, it was designed with two purposes in mind - to meet the needs of a 21st Century fire and rescue service as well as providing a valuable meeting space, free of charge, for community groups.
"The rooms have proved to be a vital link between residents and our crews, community safety officers and volunteers who now have more opportunity to discuss fire safety, both in homes and on the roads. This greater level of engagement means that we can work with residents in order to prevent incidents happening in the first place, which, in turn, will save lives. The new community fire station also has far superior training facilities and amenities which allow crews to continue providing a first-class emergency response cover."
When it opened in January of this year, Leek became the ninth facility to be operational in phase two of a major upgrade of buildings across the county. In total, 10 community fire stations have been rebuilt on their current sites plus a brand new station at Loggerheads which has replaced the 45-year-old station at Ashley.
The first phase saw three additional stations developed and seven stations replaced between October 2009 and September 2011. The Service will have invested a total of £90 million, funded through a Private Finance Initiative, on improving the stations when the project has been completed.