Pictured (l-r): David Moore, NIFRS Director of Human Resources; Ken Henning MBE, Vice Chairperson, NIFRS Board & Programme Board member; Gary Thompson, NIFRS Chief Fire & Officer; Harry Henry, Contracts Director, Henry Brothers; Michael Graham, NIFRS Assistant Chief Fire Officer; and Alan Mitchell, Commercial Director, Henry Brothers.

Work on the new £4 million Learning and Development Centre at Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) is scheduled to take one year to complete, with plans to open the new facility for firefighters in early 2019.

The first phase of the NIFRS Learning and Development Centre is for the critical training infrastructure and includes a six-storey tactical firefighting facility and a building with welfare and classroom facilities and a new.

Ken Henning, MBE, Vice Chairperson of NIFRS Board and Programme Board member said:  “This new training facility will enable a range of live-burn training scenarios from high-rise building fires to domestic and commercial property fires. We welcome the continued government commitment to this capital project and thank the Department of Health and Mid-Ulster District Council for their continued support.

NIFRS has worked closely with the Department of Health, the design team, Hamilton Architects and more recently with Henry Brothers (who were awarded the construction contract for Phase 1 of the project), to deliver a facility suited to the training needs of firefighters for years to come, according to Henning.

Design work for Phase 2 of the Learning and Development Centre will commence in due course, following the appointment of a design team and will cover the remainder of the training infrastructure works. Phase 2 has a capital value of circa £40m and, following all necessary government and planning approvals, it is anticipated that work could commence in summer 2019.