Berkshire fire staff to relocate to new headquarters

Berkshire's fire and rescue service is to relocate 180 staff to a new headquarters five miles away.

The service's new headquarters will be at Theale Cross, Pincents Lane, Reading, close to Junction 12 of the M4 motorway.

The building, currently used for retail and storage, will get a £1.3m revamp.

The service said its current headquarters and fire station in Tilehurst, built in the 1960s and early 1970s, were in a dilapidated state.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Paul Southern said: "The buildings have extensive concrete 'cancer' with a remaining working life of just a few years.

"We are delighted that contracts have now been exchanged and that we can move ahead with the project."

The work will be funded by the sale of the Dee Road and Cookham fire station sites with money also coming from the Fire Authority's capital development fund.

Outline planning for the entire site at Dee Road for 42 homes has already been granted by Reading Borough Council.

Mr Southern said: "It is currently estimated that the building refurbishment and the provision of a new fire station in Theale can be undertaken with limited or, possibly, no borrowing required.

"We are planning to provide a building which will last for at least 30 years."

The move is expected to be completed within two years.

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