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of the British Broadcasting Corporation



Saturday, 3 November 2007, 15:59 GMT
Emergency services move proposed

Firefighters are being consulted on plans to move two of Cumbria's emergency service headquarters.

The county's emergency planning unit is currently based in Carlisle and the Fire and Rescue Service headquarters is 26 miles (41.8 km) away in Cockermouth.

It is proposed to move both to a new site in Penrith.

There are also plans to replace several ageing stations in the north and west of the county through an £11m Private Finance Initiative (PFI).

The new site for the two emergency services would be close to the Kemplay Bank roundabout, alongside a new fire station for Penrith.

As well as providing important strategic access to all four points of the compass via the M6 and A66, the site would also improve inter-agency emergency planning work, as the police and Primary Care Trust also have headquarters nearby.

Detailed evaluation work is taking place to test the feasibility of the plan before any planning permission is sought.

If given the go-ahead, the new facility would become operational in 2011.