Plans to revamp Teesside fire stations axed

Artist's impression of new Redcar fire station Redevelopment plans for Redcar fire station are going ahead

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Multi million-pound plans to revamp fire stations across Teesside have had to be shelved.

Cleveland Fire Brigade wanted to spend £31m on new community stations at Middlesbrough, Skelton, Hartlepool, Grangetown, Thornaby and Billingham.

But the government has told the brigade the proposals have fallen victim to public spending cuts.

The Department for Communities and Local Government said officials would examine alternative funding options.

The news will not affect the redevelopment of Redcar fire station into a community hub, which has already begun and is due to be completed in the spring of 2011.

Chief Fire Officer Ian Hayton said: "Despite this setback, clearly we still require substantial investment for our buildings, many of which are beyond their sell-by date.

"We will be making approaches to the Department for Communities and Local Government to determine how we might be able to access alternative funding to deliver buildings and services that the local community deserve."

A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said "tough decisions" had to be taken to reduce the country's public sector deficit.

But he said officials would work with the fire authority to consider alternative funding options.

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