Landmark new training and development academy for Merseyside fire and rescue service completed

Home News Landmark new training and development academy for Merseyside fire and rescue service completed

We have completed all works at Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MFRS) in Aintree. The state-of-the-art development encompasses a new 4 bay operational fire station, immersive, realistic training zones and the prestigious National Resilience Centre of Excellence, spread across a 12-acre site.  

The training facility includes eight training zones that can be adapted to train firefighters for a wide variety of scenarios. The training zones include a six-storey high-rise building, a row of 3 terraced houses, a motorway setting, a hazardous material training rig, urban search and rescue zone, overground and underground rail scenario, specialist vehicle garages, a High-Volume Pump (HVP) training area and a suite of practical training classrooms. These new facilities will train operational and support staff, with more than 40 training staff and over 60 operational staff employed on the site.

The new training and development academy will also host the National Resilience Assurance Team (NRAT), the UK International Search and Rescue team (UKISAR), and secondary Fire Control. The NRAT provides 24/7 operational support to affected fire and rescue services, while the secondary Fire Control assists callers by identifying incident locations, offering safety advice, and providing reassurance until firefighters arrive. The UKISAR team responds to humanitarian disasters worldwide on behalf of the UK Government, recently providing support following earthquakes in Turkey and Morocco. By centralising these essential services, the academy will enhance national emergency response capabilities, bringing benefit to the whole country and the international community.

The scheme is the fifth to be delivered by Wates for MFRS and is its largest project to date, following the build of multiple new fire stations across Merseyside, most recently at Prescot, Saughall Massie and St. Helens.

Supporting the community was a key driver for the build’s success, including £15 million spent with local supply chains, 31 local people employed, as well as £25,000 contributed to local charities and community causes.

Designed with sustainability at its core, this project is the most sustainable site built for MFRS to date, supporting long-term net-zero carbon goals. The site features 23 electric vehicle charging points, numerous biodiversity improvements, and the planting of over 150 mature trees, ensuring a lasting positive impact on the environment.

This build represents a transformation in how the fire service support and train their people – not only in Merseyside, but nationally too.”
This Training Academy is an example of construction excellence – from the complexity of the training facilities, capable of mimicking some of the most dangerous scenarios that firefighters face, to the sustainability measures implemented, to support our client’s long-term net zero goals. It has been an honour to build it and its completion is testament to the strength of the longstanding relationship with have with MFRS, as well as the hard work of all our teams, delivery partners and supply chain.”

Mark Kearney

Interim Managing Director for Construction North at Wates

“This is a great day for the Service and is everything we dreamed of when we first envisaged a facility providing an effective response to emerging risks in a constantly changing urban landscape. We must train for potential risks from marine incidents, wildfires, flooding, large waste fires and terrorist related incidents but also for localised risks in Merseyside with our extensive coastline, shipping and docks, airport, busy road and rail networks, tunnels and heritage sites.
“Current and future firefighters of Merseyside will be ready for any challenge after developing and maintaining their skills at this outstanding facility.” 

Phil Garrigan

Chief Fire Officer