First tour of Lincoln’s £21m blue light campus

Fire and ambulance crews are now moving into the new joint ambulance, fire and police station in Lincoln. The Lincolnite went for a look inside.

The brand new £21 million station on South Park is now home to 45 firefighters and 72 ambulance staff. Colleagues from Lincolnshire Police will move in this autumn, with their stations on West Parade and in Bracebridge Heath set to close.

Once work is completed on the rest of the building by this autumn it will become the first tri-service operational station in the country.

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Executive Member for fire & rescue services at Lincolnshire County Council, Councillor Nick Worth, told The Lincolnite: “It’s fantastic. It’s a result of many years’ work. What a great facility this is.

“It’s nice to see Lincolnshire leading the way on this. There’s been an awful lot of planning to get to the stage we have, but it’s really worthwhile. We’ve seen just this morning a 999 call go out and the team were out there within 30 to 40 seconds, that says a lot about the way the building has been designed to encourage that quick access.”

Executive Member for fire & rescue services at Lincolnshire County Council, Councillor Nick Worth. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

When the plans were first announced back in 2016 the cost of the ‘Blue Light Collaboration Programme’ was set at £15 million. It was initially given the go ahead by Lincolnshire County Council’s Planning and Regulation Committee in October 2017 with a budget in the region of £17 million.

The estimate later increased to around £21 million. Of this figure £7.5 million in funding was received from the government.

When asked if the project was over budget, Councillor Worth added: “No, it’s within budget. I think the unique thing about this building was because it was the first of its kind we weren’t really sure what the end product was going to be, so we had an estimate at the start of the project.

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

“All three services added bits in as we went along, but it is within that £21 million budget. It was an estimate. The police added some bits to do it and then we had to alter bits just to make it more efficient and work better for all three services.”

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Three fire engines, a technical response vehicle, eight ambulances and four fast response cars will be based at the station.

There will also be a sliding fire pole between floors and EMAS will have four Make Ready teams to ensure all returning ambulances are cleaned and restocked. The building also includes a gym.

The fire pole. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

EMAS is leaving their building next door, which is ‘no longer fit for purpose’, to move into the new facility.

EMAS’ Director of Finance and deputy chief executive Mike Naylor said it is “probably our best building in the whole of the East Midlands”.

He told The Lincolnite: “One of the ironic things is we’ve actually got a better building and it’s saving us money. It’s more cost effective, it’s a newer building, we’re sharing the costs of maintaining the building with fire and the police, so everybody gains.”

EMAS’ Director of Finance and deputy chief executive Mike Naylor and General Manager for the Lincolnshire division Sue Cousland. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Chief Fire Officer Les Britzman said: “It’s very exciting because it carries on from our collaboration that we’ve got at the moment with a lot EMAS crews in Louth and Sleaford.

Chief Fire Officer Les Britzman. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

“This is the first tri-service station, although we already are in the police headquarters at Nettleham which has been fantastic. It’s an opportunity for all the crews to work, train and socialise together and get to know each other so they’re a lot more effective.”

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The construction of the building is managed by Lincolnshire County Council and delivered by Wilmott Dixon.