capitaThe UK's main national training centre for fire and rescue workers has been sold to a private company for £10m in a deal which Fire Minster Brandon Lewis said "represents great value for money for taxpayers and the public purse".

Having secured the rights to the 365-acre site in Moreton-in-Marsh, which includes a section of motorway and an oil rig for training simulations, management company Capita have pledged to develop the facilities as a training site for fire and rescue authorities.

Reacting to the confirmation of the deal first announced on Fire last December,  Cllr Kay Hammond, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Fire Services Management Committee, said: “The LGA and fire authorities have been clear that the only sensible way forward for the college was to bring in the private sector to provide the business acumen and extra investment that will help transform it into the first class facility our firefighters deserve.

“We are pleased government acted quickly on our recommendations. We look forward to seeing the benefits of the investment Capita has committed to for refurbishing the college and to working with them on the training offer to fire and rescue services.”

The Government has insisted on a number of conditions on the sale, including commitments not only that the College will continue in use as a national training college for fire and rescue authorities, but also that it will continue to offer wider national resilience and emergency services exercises and that Government permission will be required if Capita wish to sell the incident ground. 

Mr Lewis said that the sale of the College has the potential to deliver an estimated benefit of £30m to the taxpayer in the first few years and at the same time secure the College’s future.

Posted 04/03/2013 by richard.hook@pavpub.com