The new station will also house North East Ambulance Service (NEAS), ensuring effective and efficient emergency response for the local community. The decision to replace the existing station, was taken in early 2018 and in August 2018, a Darlington based architect, Corstorphine + Wright, Niven Architects were appointed.
John Hancock, CDDFRS Estates Manager commented: “The existing station which was built in 1972 and refurbished in 2009 but needed more permanent, extensive repairs which were ultimately very expensive and problematic. The building was not fit for purpose, so a decision was made in 2018 by our Combined Fire Authority to fund a demolition and a complete rebuild of the station.”
A planning application was submitted to Darlington Borough Council in November 2018 and in April 2019 Tolent was appointed as the main contractor. Following extensive work with The Environment Agency to mitigate flood risk on the land, a start date for demolition of the existing station was agreed for 27th January 2020.
Phased demolition has now begun on the site and fire crews have relocated to former workshops and temporary accommodation on the site and NEAS relocated to Darlington Memorial Hospital. The aim is for both agencies to co-locate in the new facility before the end of this year.
Councillor John Robinson, Chair of County Durham and Darlington’s Combined Fire Authority said: “Our vision for this new community fire station in the heart of Darlington is one of flexibility and collaboration, so the service and its partner organisations can provide first-class facilities and services to support local people.
“The Fire Authority looked at many options to bring the existing fire station up-to-date however it became apparent a brand-new facility was needed. We hope that once the new station is open, local residents will look positively on this state-of-the-art building in the heart of their town.”
Regional director for Tolent, Rick Halton, said: “We are delighted to be working with County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service to create what will be a fantastic new facility, benefiting the whole community here in Darlington.”