Members of the Royal Berkshire Fire Authority's (RBFA) Management Committee have approved plans for a new full-time fire station in Theale.
The community station will operate as a tri-service and shared location for Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS), Thames Valley Police (TVP) and South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS).
The new site was purchased from Network Rail and was as the ideal location for improving response times.
Emergency vehicles will now be closer to the local communities of Calcot, Thatcham and Theale.
RBFRS firefighters and TVP's Neighbourhood Policing Team will be based at the site, while paramedics from SCAS will also be able to use the station's facilities.
A community room will be built as a meeting space for local residents and community groups to use.
Explore plans for #Theale Community Fire Station in our walkthrough video. This new tri-service community station will offer a shared location for RBFRS, @thamesvp and @SCAS999 and offers a community room for local residents and community groups to book. https://t.co/cjKnfF6Yzh— Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (@RBFRSofficial) January 10, 2020
(Royal Berkshire Fire & Rescue Service have posted a video to show what the station will look like. Picture credits: RBFRS)
Councillor Angus Ross, Lead Member for Strategic Assets on Royal Berkshire Fire Authority said:
“The inclusion of these facilities ensures that the station will be an asset and resource for local residents to make use of.
"This is just one example of RBFRS delivering on its commitment to put fire stations at the heart of the communities they serve.
"Careful planning has ensured the plans will provide 'state of the art' modern operational facilities for the Blue Light services as well as a community hub."
Senior representatives from RBFA and RBFRS were in attendance at a ceremony to mark the beginning of construction work.
Councillor Colin Dudley, Chairman of Royal Berkshire Fire Authority said:
“We’re delighted that plans for Theale Community Fire Station have been given the green light.
"The new station will provide a facility from which all three emergency services will respond to the communities they serve.
"This will strengthen our partnership working and reflects the Fire Authority’s commitment to further collaboration with our Thames Valley partners.
“Not only this, but the new station aims to improve the overall speed of response of our crews and provides a room for the local community to use.
"This further delivers on our strategic commitment to ensure that our fire stations, people and resources are placed at the heart of local communities.”
Anthony Stansfeld, Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley, said:
“This project is an example of the strategic collaboration between Thames Valley Police and the three Fire and Rescue Services of the Thames Valley, as set out in the Memorandum of Understanding.
"This efficient further collaboration of blue light services in Theale will not only save money but increase operational effectiveness for the communities in the area.”
Paul Kempster, Chief Operating Officer of South Central Ambulance Service said:
“South Central Ambulance Service is delighted to again be working with our emergency services colleagues from Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service and Thames Valley Police in developing another community fire station in Berkshire.
“Our three services have a long history of close partnership working and the new facilities will ensure that at a local level in Theale and the surrounding areas, there will be even more opportunities to use our collective skills and experience to create a safer and more resilient community.”
Work on the new station is to due to begin in spring, with completion and the opening expected by spring 2022.