An official topping out ceremony has been held to mark the construction milestone at the site of the new Horsham Fire Station and Training Centre.
West Sussex County Council and West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service have taken the decision to name the new building Platinum House in honour of her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
West Sussex County Council’s Leader Paul Marshall, Cabinet Member for Community Support, Fire and Rescue, Duncan Crow, and Cabinet Member for Finance Jeremy Hunt attended the event alongside West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service Chief Fire Officer Sabrina Cohen-Hatton and Deputy Chief Fire Officer Mark Andrews to mark the topping-out of the site. The tradition marks the completion of the structural phase of the project, with the highest point of the building being put in place.
The occasion was celebrated with the burying of a time capsule at the site which contains a number of items from the existing fire station on Hurst Road. Other items included photographs of the crews at Horsham, a medal from The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service badges.
The capsule will be opened in 50 years’ time in 2072 by a future generation of firefighters at Horsham Fire Station.
West Sussex County Council’s appointed contractor, Willmott Dixon, began work at the site last November and it is due to be completed in 2023.
Cabinet Member for Community Support, Fire and Rescue, Duncan Crow, said: “We are honoured to be able to name our brand new, industry-leading fire station and training centre in honour of Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
“The topping out ceremony marks a significant point in the construction project, and I was incredibly impressed at the pace with which this new site has progressed. With thanks to Willmott Dixon, the service is now one step closer to using their state-of-the-art fire station and training centre.
“This will become a fantastic new landmark for our county, and I am looking forward to seeing the facilities become an integrated part of our fire and rescue service.”
Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, Chief Fire Officer of West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, added: “The new facilities will provide our staff with more opportunities to train and develop their skills locally, without having to travel further afield. The site will allow our firefighters to simulate more than 50 realistic training scenarios to ensure they are prepared to respond to a wide range of incidents – ultimately keeping them, and the communities they serve, safe.
“This project represents substantial investment in our service from the county council to create an industry-leading training centre and fire station to serve the residents of Horsham for many years to come.”
The training centre will be the first of its type in the county and will allow firefighters to train in a wide range of realistic scenarios, such as live fire conditions, working from height and road traffic collisions. This will further enhance the skills and professionalism of our staff enabling them to continue serving the residents and communities of West Sussex.
Russell Miller, director at Willmott Dixon’s Crawley office, said “We are delighted to have reached a key milestone at the Horsham fire station and training centre, which once complete will provide our firefighters with a world class facility that supports their brilliant work. We look forward to completing the project and seeing it enter service.”