Blackley fire station set to become carbon-neutral after receiving a £38m investment
- Blackley fire crew to be stationed at Phillips Park fire station overnight
- Whitefield and Stockport fire stations included in investment fund
- A place for local communities and organisations to use
Residents in Higher Blackley will be without a permanent fire station for 18 months due to the construction of a new carbon-neutral building for the fire service.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) announced the plans for a ‘major overhaul’ of several fire stations within Greater Manchester in February this year, including Whitefield fire station in Bury and King Street fire station in Stockport.
The plans are part of a £38 million Estates strategy which outlines in refurbishing fire stations to make sure they are still fit for purpose.
The multi-million-pound investment will see a new fire station built on the existing site of Blackley fire station on Rochdale Road.
However, the process of demolishing and rebuilding a new fire station will see the Blackley fire crew rehomed to Phillips Park fire station during the night until the redevelopment has finished.
The fire crew will still be based at Blackley fire station in the day and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service have promised that there will be “no reduction in fire engines that are based nor any reduction in firefighting capabilities”.
Residents have been informed about the redevelopment process and encouraged to attend a drop-in session at the fire station to have a look at the proposal and raise any questions about the process.
Jonathan Rowland, a local resident, said: “The plans look really good. It’s nice to see that they have received a good investment and they’ve thought about the environment too in their plans.”
“The plans look like it will create a better work environment for the staff, and it will look a lot nicer from the road.”
There was also the chance for people to offer their opinions about the new fire station via an online questionnaire.
Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) received 39 responses to the online questionnaire, resulting in 33 responses strongly supporting the plans to redevelop the station.
The new fire station will see new technologies incorporated into its design to become carbon-neutral, for example, a ‘green roof’ will be fitted.
The green roof is a roof made out of vegetation, layered on a membrane of waterproof material, which will keep the building protected whilst reducing the carbon emissions of the building.
Having a green roof will allow flowers to be planted and insects to be able inhabit the area. Solar panels will also be fitted to the roof to increase the buildings bio diversity.
Electric charging points and low energy lighting will be installed on site aswell as a new fire tower for the crew to train on site with.
72 percent of residents, who answered the questionnaire, supported the proposal of a carbon-neutral fire station in Blackley.
After the redevelopment, Blackley fire station will continue to have only one fire engine available which will continue to be powered by fossil fuels.
Currently, a fire engine costs around £300,000 but for an full electric fire engine the cost would be a staggering £1.2 million. A hefty price to pay to help save lives as-well as the environment.
What about the community?
Greater Manchester Combined Authority have also incorporated a space for people in the local community to use in their designs.
Greater Manchester fire and rescue said that the new stations will provide a “positive and engaging presence in the community” becoming a safe space for the community and local organisations to use.
The redevelopment is set to get under way in October 2023, which will be a big step forward for Blackley in meeting Manchester’s target of becoming carbon-neutral by 2038.