£1m investment package for fire training centre?

The proposal has been included within SFRS capital plan and is subject to final approval by SFRS Board.
The proposal has been included within SFRS capital plan and is subject to final approval by SFRS Board.
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The Fire and Rescue Service training centre at Portlethen may be in line for a major capital investment of more than £1 million.

The centre, located to the west of Portlethen, is just beyond the site of the planned Hillside Primary School.

The proposed financial boost has been included within the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) capital plan.

It is subject to final approval by the SFRS Board.

A spokesperson for the service said: “ A strategic review of training facilities in the north of Scotland has identified a number of key capital investment opportunities across the service delivery area.

‘‘The Portlethen facility is an integral part of the training and employee development strategic training infrastructure owing to its location, ease of access and current facilities.

‘‘A Capital Investment Plan has been developed for the next three financial years which includes an accumulative spend of circa £1.2m at the Portlethen site.

“ The proposed investment includes the purchase and installation of new compartment fire behaviour training (CFBT) units, a covered all-weather training facility and the upgrading of the ICT infrastructure.

‘‘ A further proposal for the development of an incident command training suite at the site is to be considered as part of a wider incident command training strategy and forms part of the organisation Service Transformation Programme.

“Further investment may also be required following the outcomes of the organisation’s Specialist Appliances Review and the need to train personnel in new specialist skills across the north.

The news was warmly welcomed by North Kincardine councillor Ian Mollison: “I made enquiries after Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill MSP told the Scottish Parliament at Topical Questions that there would be investment at Portlethen. This could provide jobs for staff displaced by the closure of the fire control centre at Mounthooly in Aberdeen.

“The fire service’s local senior officer for Aberdeenshire & Moray, David Rout, confirmed that this is under consideration and said that the Portlethen facility is an integral part of the training and employee development strategic training infrastructure.

“However, he did emphasise that these are only proposals at this time and, although included within the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service capital plan, they are subject to final approval by the board.

“This could be very welcome news for the Portlethen area.”