Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
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PLANS for GMFRS' new state-of the art training and community centre in Bury have been given the green light by town hall planners.
Members of the Bury Council Planning Control Committee approved the proposals with conditions at a meeting on Tuesday, September 2, 2014.
It means construction work can now begin to develop the multi-million pound operational training centre and community safety hub on land off Wellington Street.
Chair of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor David Acton, said: "We're delighted that plans for our new firefighter training and community centre have been given the go ahead.
"This development will be a great asset not just for the Bury community but for the whole of Greater Manchester - helping to bring fire safety to life and give members of the public a real insight into how firefighters train.
"Due to a successful reduction in fires in Greater Manchester over several years, firefighters now need to train even more than ever in realistic conditions. Our new training centre will allow us to do that to the highest standards using the most modern state-of-the-art equipment - increasing safety for firefighters themselves and the public."
As well as using local suppliers and materials and generating jobs for local businesses, the development will create a number of apprenticeship opportunities for young people in Greater Manchester.
It will also be energy efficient - using renewable energy sources such as solar panels and air source heat pumps
The 10-acre area of land will use existing features such as a lodge and section of river, large warehouse, tunnels, bridges, cuttings and embankments, rubble piles and old mill walls.
Other elements will be created to help prepare crews for a range of incident scenarios - such as a collapsed building, simulated houses and commercial buildings, real fire units with a smoke filtration system, an eight-storey high-rise building, and a train, tram and ship.
An interactive community hub will feature immersive learning, which will allow local people and schoolchildren in particular to learn how to protect themselves against fire and other dangers.
Visitors will arrive into a simulated fire control room where they'll see the different types of incidents GMFRS attends and have the chance to listen to a real 999 call.
During their visit, groups will find out what it's like to be a firefighter for the day and they'll experience all the elements of a real fire - the smell of smoke, the heat of a fire and the sound of the sirens.
Work is due to begin onsite by the end of the year and it's expected that the development will be open in 2016.