A milestone has been reached in the project to build a new community fire station in Theale.
At the beginning of February 2021, construction work on Theale Community Fire Station was completed at the highest point of the building, when the last beam was placed on the roof. This milestone that is usually marked with a “Topping Out” ceremony, which is a longstanding tradition that signifies the successful completion of the structural phase of a project.
Although it was not possible to hold a ceremony on site due to COVID-19 restrictions, to mark this important point of the build and to safely celebrate the progress made so far, a tree was temporarily placed on top of the highest point of the new building by the contractors, Knights Brown.
Theale Community Fire Station is the latest in a series of investments by the Fire Authority, following the refurbishment of Hungerford Community Fire Station and the rebuild of Crowthorne Community Fire Station.
Once complete, Theale Community Fire Station will offer a shared location for Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS), Thames Valley Police (TVP) and South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS).
As well as improvements for all Services in the efficient use of public funds, the relationships and opportunities of working more closely together is expected to support greater collective effectiveness for the services we provide to the public.
Councillor Colin Dudley, Chairman of Royal Berkshire Fire Authority, said: “This milestone we are marking virtually represents a great achievement.
“Theale Community Fire Station is a fantastic investment that the local community will be proud of, once it is complete.
“The construction of this community fire station will help to deliver on our strategic commitment to ensure that our fire stations, people and resources are placed firmly at the heart of local communities they are serving.”
The site for the new station was identified during a search to optimise the locations of RBFRS’ fire stations, and offers improved access to the M4 and A4 corridors. This new location formed part of a public consultation completed in April 2017.
Building work on the new station began in January 2020 and good progress is being made, while following Government’s COVID-19 construction guidelines.
Completion of the new station is expected by spring 2022, when it is hoped that local residents will be able to visit the new station to see it for themselves.
Councillor Angus Ross, Strategic Asset Lead for the Fire Authority, said: “We are delighted with the progress at Theale Community Fire Station so far and to reach this significant milestone.
“During an extremely challenging year, we are really grateful for all the support we’ve received from the local community.
“The progress made with the build in 2020 means that the local community, and indeed communities across Berkshire are much closer to benefitting from a modern, fit-for-purpose blue light hub for emergency services to serve the local community from.”
A video featuring the latest footage from site has been added to our YouTube channel.
Notes to editors:
Royal Berkshire Fire Authority published their Strategic Asset Investment Framework, which sets out high-level detail on how we will maintain and renew our capital assets, which includes our buildings, fire engines and specialist vehicles and ICT infrastructure.