England

East Midlands fire control centre 'must be sold quickly'

Castle Donington fire control centre
Image caption The project to create nine regional fire control centres was scrapped in 2010

An unused £14m fire control centre should be sold off as quickly as possible, an MP has said.

The building at Castle Donington in Leicestershire, designed to serve the East Midlands, was finished in 2007 but has only now been put up for sale.

A lease agreement on the building means the government, which scrapped it, is still paying £5,000 a day in rent.

Andrew Bridgen, Conservative MP for North West Leicestershire, described it as a "millstone".

The centre was meant to serve Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Derbyshire.

'Complete failure'

Mr Bridgen said: "We need a company to buy those premises, and create some jobs, and get this millstone off the backs of the taxpayer."

The project, part of a national plan to close 46 emergency fire control rooms and replace them with nine regional centres, was scrapped in December 2010.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) opposed the plans, saying the cost of moving to a single control centre would divert funds from front-line training and equipment.

In 2011, a committee of MPs said the entire scheme was a "complete failure".

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