A ground-breaking ceremony has taken place at the site of a new Hampshire fire station.

Firefighters, construction workers and invited guests gathered to mark the next phase in the building of Bishop’s Waltham Fire Station on Tuesday (April 5).

The demolition of the old station was completed last month, and the ground has now been cleared and prepared, ready for structural work to begin within the next few weeks.

For the on-call crew who will be based there, it was a chance to see how the work is progressing as the developers get ready to build the improved station and new tower and training facilities on the existing site in Lower Lane.

Arron Hedges, head of properties and facilities at Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service, said: “It is really exciting to see all the work that has gone on so far and to mark this next phase of construction, which will deliver a new station with better working and training facilities for our firefighters, alongside space for community engagement.

“Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service is committed to providing stations with modern facilities for our colleagues and the communities that we are proud to serve.

“Our plans for Bishop’s Waltham are part of our wider station investment programme, with further proposals for new fire stations progressing in Cosham and Redbridge.”

Clifford Kinch, area director of Morgan Sindall Construction, said: “We are extremely proud to lead on the delivery of the new fire station and training area which will create a better environment for firefighters to complete the important work they do and provide improved training facilities.

“Projects such as this require careful consideration and expertise and we have a proven record of successfully delivering blue-light projects.

“We are excited to once again work closely with Southern Construction Framework to deliver the new building for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service, which is investing into modernising facilities for its workforce and local communities.

“As with all of our projects, collaborating with local residents and community groups will be a priority throughout construction and our team is committed to deliver a positive social and economic legacy for the area which will be tailored to their needs.”

Work is expected to be carried out over the rest of this year, with the station ready to be handed over early in 2023.

Bishop’s Waltham’s fire engine has been moved into a temporary facility nearby so the crew can remain fully operational.

For updates on the Station Investment Programme and other HIWFRS news, visit hantsfire.gov.uk/