By Tristan Harris Tuesday 30 October 2012 Updated: 01/11 11:53
BUILDING has started on Bromsgrove's new £10.5million blue light centre, which will house the town's police and fire stations.
The work comes after an old college building on the site was demolished and will take more than a year to finish - it is hoped the new centre will be up and running by January 2014.
The project, being undertaken on Slideslow Drive, near Artrix, is the first to be delivered under the Worcestershire Capital Asset Pathfinder scheme. That looks at taking a partnership approach to public services, where they can be based on one site to make them more efficient.
This blue light centre scheme is the first of its kind in the country and, if successful, could lead to similar schemes being carried out in the UK.
Jim Stobie, head of West Mercia Police's estate services department, said: "This project is the result of endeavours by a number of public sector organisations and will hopefully act as a catalyst for the regeneration of central Bromsgrove."
He added the current police and fire stations were expensive to run and the expenditure would only get worse.
"By sharing common facilities, the cost of the new building will reduce by 20 per cent," he said.
Ian Edwards, Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service's head of asset management, added: "We are pleased this innovative shared project is now underway.
"This new facility will be of great benefit to the local community and also to our staff serving the community."
The work is being undertaken by contractors Thomas Vale under the West Midlands Constructors Framework, a £180million scheme to deliver public sector works across the region.
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