Budget cuts and a £10m price tag have hampered plans to move the Lancashire Fire Service HQ out of the old Victorian buildings in Fulwood, Preston for at least another five years.
The move to newer purpose-built offices at the Washington Hall training centre in Euxton, are too costly in the present climate. Money will instead be focused on frontline services which have been hit by Government cut backs.
The Combined Fire Authority (CFA) who are responsible for leading and supporting the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service recently announced the delay,
A Lancashire Fire and Rescue spokesman said: “Frontline services are the priority right now. Getting new purpose-built accommodation for the headquarters was on a wish list, but to be honest it doesn’t have a degree of urgency to it.
“It’s not as if we are in a building that is crumbling around us. Our administration staff will carry on working there for the foreseeable future. We are being responsible because we acknowledge these are difficult times.”
Originally the huge Victorian mansion on Garstang Road was a family home, built in 1892. It became the base of operation for the fire service in 1949. Plans have been made to vacate the building since 2012.
Space and maintaining the old building has now become a problem. A constant drain on resources which could be offset by the energy savings in a more modern building.
Government cuts have had an effect on frontline services, and it has been decided a new headquarters isn’t a priority.
CFA chairman, Coun Frank De Molfetta is waiting for a government decision on whether different forces could be amalgamated which may impact on future plans.