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'Topping out' milestone for West Berkshire fire station

Commemorative tree was placed temporarily at top of structure

Emergency services have celebrated a milestone in the construction of Theale Community Fire Station.

Once completed, the facility is to be operated jointly by the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS), Thames Valley Police (TVP) and South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS).

It will serve West Berkshire and the surrounding region.

At the beginning of February, workers 'topped out' the structure, building it to its highest planned point.

In normal times, this would be accompanied by a special ceremony, but pandemic restrictions forbid any such celebration.

Instead, a tree was placed temporarily at the top of the station, designating the milestone.

Angus Ross, strategic asset lead for the fire authority, said: "We are delighted with the progress at Theale Community Fire Station so far and to reach this significant milestone.

"During an extremely challenging year, we are really grateful for all the support we've received from the local community.

"The progress made with the build in 2020 means that the local community, and indeed communities across Berkshire are much closer to benefitting from a modern, fit-for-purpose blue light hub for emergency services to serve the local community from."

Work on the station has been progressing for just over a year.

It is hoped that it will be finished by spring 2022.

Plans for a new facility have been in the pipeline for many years, and were finally approved in 2019.

Royal Berkshire Fire Authority chairman Colin Dudley said: "This milestone we are marking virtually represents a great achievement.

"Theale Community Fire Station is a fantastic investment that the local community will be proud of, once it is complete.

"The construction of this community fire station will help to deliver on our strategic commitment to ensure that our fire stations, people and resources are placed firmly at the heart of local communities they serve."

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