The first of two new training centres for firefighters in London will be opened today under a contract the brigade said will save tens of millions of pounds.

London Mayor Boris Johnson will open the site at Beckton, which will be followed by a second venue at Park Royal later in the year.

The centres replace the brigade's Southwark site, which has been training firefighters since 1878.

Training is being outsourced, which the brigade said will save £66 million.

Mr Johnson said: "This gold standard facility will help London Fire Brigade to deliver a world class service to Londoners.

"It is part of a multi-million pound modernisation programme to ensure the service and its staff are equipped with the very best kit to respond to the challenges of a growing 21st century city."

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson, said outsourcing training to private firm Babcock "radically improved" the quality of facilities.