A NEW fit-for-purpose combined police and fire station in the heart of Redditch has moved a step closer.

The site for the new hub has been confirmed at Middle House Lane thanks to a deal between Redditch Borough Council, Worcestershire County Council, Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, and West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion.

It will involve a three-way land swap and purchase between the borough council, county council and the fire service, enabling the new police and fire station to be built.

The current police station in the town could be sold and redeveloped, with plans for it to become a new manufacturing and innovation centre.

PCC John Campion said: “Police officer numbers in Redditch continue to increase, but the current police station is not fit for purpose and hasn’t been for some time.

"This partnership solution enables improvements for vital emergency services, maintains the visible police presence local people want, supports the local economy, and achieves best value for local taxpayers.

"It is an innovative, forward-thinking approach and I am pleased to be delivering these improvements for the community in Redditch.”

The chairman of Hereford and Worcester Fire Authority, Cllr Roger Phillips, added: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to progress with this new hub, which will benefit the people of Redditch as well as the emergency services.

"Through partnership working and collaboration, we will be able to provide value for money to our communities whilst improving the delivery services to the public, and also ensuring our firefighters have a modern fire station that will serve them for many years to come.”

The Blue Light Hub project is supported through the One Public Estate (OPE) initiative.

Redditch Borough Council leader Matt Dormer said: “This really is an exciting time for Redditch as huge regeneration plans are starting to come to fruition – the blue light hub being one of the first step along this journey.

“Moving forward on this innovative deal with our partners confirms that this Council is committed to unlocking Redditch’s potential and that we will deliver.”

Councillor Karen May, Worcestershire County Council’s cabinet member for transformation and commissioning, said: “This development is great news for Redditch. It’s also a really good example of partners working together on innovative solutions that will benefit the whole community.”