Cost of new 'hot fire' training centre in Rugby up by more than a third
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The projected cost of a new fire training centre in Rugby has increased by more than a third ahead of going out to tender for the work.
A vacant plot of Warwickshire County Council-owned land on Paynes Lane, Rugby, near the Cemex plant, was most recently used as a highways depot and has lay dormant since 2021.
The county plans to build a new ‘hot fire’ training centre where fire and rescue situations can be simulated alongside a welfare building containing changing rooms, showers, toilets, storage and drying rooms for equipment, offices and meeting rooms and a kitchenette.
It will allow firefighters to run through scenarios such as entering a building on fire or filled with smoke and undertake breathing apparatus training and multi-pump exercises.
The latest finance published report to the county’s cabinet – the team of Conservative councillors in charge of major service areas – shows that the initial budget of £1.77 million is anticipated to go up by £676,000 to just shy of £2.5 million.
The narrative within that appendix reads: “The service is working towards the Minerva Unit being sited and fully operational by February 2024.
“Changes in the budget are due to decisions around historical £700,000 funding for a new response point being allocated to the capital project to ensure completion.”
Ben Brook, Warwickshire Fire & Rescue’s chief fire officer, spoke on the matter at this week’s Resources, Fire & Rescue Overview & Scrutiny Committee, citing inflation pressures.
“We are making really good progress in that area at the moment, however there have been some inflationary costs around that build,” he said.
“We are going out to tender just to make sure we can confirm those prices and the costs attached. That way we should be in a strong position when we go to cabinet.
“Those risks are in relation to the rising cost of the building works.”
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