Bootle and Netherton Community Fire Station has been officially opened as part of a major £47 million redevelopment project.

Sefton Council leader, Councillor Peter Dowd, unveiled a plaque at the new state-of-the-art building, which has been built on the site of the former station in Buckley Hill Lane.

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service Chief Fire Officer Dan Stephens was also at the opening, along with a number of special guests.

It is among seven new community fire stations that are being opened across Merseyside over the next two years and is also one of 16 new fire stations that are being built across the North West as part of the £47 million Private Finance Initiative (PFI) project.

The more environmentally friendly building also has a conference suite, which will be available for community use.

School children from St William of York Catholic Primary School won a competition to design a mural in the garden at the station.

Firefighters carried out a demonstration involving a 135-metre ladder and hoses in front of guests, which also included the Mayor and Mayoress of Sefton.

Formby and Newton-le-Willows Community Fire Stations were the first to open on Merseyside and Kirkdale Community Fire Station will be the next to open in the first phase of the scheme. Southport, Belle Vale and Birkenhead stations are being developed in the second phase. The contractors responsible for the project are Balfour Beatty Fire and Rescue and Mansell are the builders.

Balfour Beatty will manage and maintain the station over the next 25 years, in return for payments from the Fire & Rescue Authorities in the North West. At the end of the 25 years the stations will be given back to each Authority in an “as new” condition.

Dan Stephens, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service Chief Fire Officer, said: “The new Bootle & Netherton Community Fire Station has fantastic state-of-the-art facilities, including a conference suite that will be available for community use.

“It is great to see the work completed and the station officially opened. As part of our long-term investment in Bootle and Netherton, this station will provide a valuable service to the community for many years.”

After unveiling the plaque, Councillor Peter Dowd said: “I am really delighted to have been invited and I’m really pleased to be here. It really is a particular privilege as this is in the ward I represent and I grew up near here and went to school here.”

Speaking about the PFI project, he added: “It is a great initiative.”

A free community open day will also be held at the station on Wednesday, August 22, from midday to 4pm. Families are invited to the meet the firefighters at the event, where there will be the Fire Fit Climbing Wall, face painting, vintage appliances from the MF&RS Heritage and Education Centre, MF&RS quad bikes, a barbecue and staff will be offering Home Fire Safety advice.

Mayor of Sefton Councillor Kevin Cluskey said: “I come from a construction background so the quality of the building is very important to me. It helps that this station is well designed and comfortable for the workers who work here. I am very impressed with it.”

The Mayoress, Councillor Linda Cluskey, added: “I think it’s fantastic. I have been passed it quite a lot and we have seen it grow. I am pleased with the result and it is great it has rooms for the community to use.”

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