£34m plan to redevelop Hertfordshire's Joint emergency Services Academy moves closer

The site at Longfield is owned by Hertfordshire County Council

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 11:40 am
Updated Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 11:47 am

A £34m plan to redevelop Hertfordshire’s Joint Emergency Services Academy – the largest county council led project in recent years – has moved a step closer.

The county council’s cabinet has approved plans to redevelop the JESA site at Stevenage.

The site at Longfield, which is owned by the county council, became a joint training centre for Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and Hertfordshire Constabulary in March 2019.

The site at Longfield became a joint training centre for Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and Hertfordshire Constabulary in March 2019 (C) Google Maps

This was part of a commitment to increased emergency services collaboration made by the county council and the Police and Crime Commissioner.

It is also a facility used by the PCC and occasionally by the ambulance service. It is also occasionally used by businesses who want training for their staff such as in the event of an evacuation for example.

Built as a primary school in 1962, the site was converted for use as the Fire Service Training Centre in 1992.

A Cabinet meeting on February 22, heard the facilities are now at the end of their working life.

A report by deputy chief officer Chris Bigland, revealed how the site now has a significant backlog of repairs and maintenance required and no longer complies with environmental and equalities legislative requirements

The project is set to cost approximately £34m with a an expected contribution of around £5m from Hertfordshire Constabulary.

At this primary stage, Cabinet has approved a Strategic Outline Case for the site and £600,000 expenditure to the full business case which will contain detailed information on the scope of the works, costs, funding, timelines and project management arrangements.

The chairman of Community Safety and Waste Management, councillor Terry Hone, said the key to the plan was it being ‘a modern, fit for purpose’ facility.

He said the plan would be “probably the biggest single construction investment by Hertfordshire County Council in living memory.”

Speaking about the plan, Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd, said: “Closer collaboration between police and fire brings enhanced benefits for the public’s safety.

“Training together on the same site will improve the assistance given to those who need emergency help.

"This facility is proof of the commitment from both parties to follow the agreed vision for an even closer working relationship between the police and the fire service.”