Staffordshire's Chief Fire Officer, Peter Dartford gave the Minister a tour of the new facilities before he cut a ribbon to the bay doors to officially mark the opening of the building. During his visit he met the firefighters based at the station, pupils from a local primary school and representatives from partner organisations, including Tamworth Borough Council, Staffordshire Police and Tamworth Community First Responders, who all use the station as a base.

Prior to visiting Tamworth Community Fire Station, the Minister also visited the site of Tamworth Mercia Community Fire Station which is currently under construction and due to open later this year.

Bob Neill MP said: "This new community fire station is a fantastic example of our commitment to improving frontline services. Investing in 21st Century fire stations in the right locations will help save lives and deliver a service that meets the needs of today's world, welcoming to local communities and offering improved working conditions for our firefighters."

Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive Peter Dartford said: "We were honoured to host a visit by the Fire Minister to one of our new state of the art community fire stations. The Minister was very enthusiastic about the facilities on offer and more importantly how they're being used.

"The Minister recognised that we are leading the way in defining the role of a modern fire and rescue service with our community fire stations and working with a range of partner organisations and local people, we are supporting and facilitating the creation of a Big Society. This is undoubtedly something that all Fire and Rescue Services should be doing, as we have something unique and special to contribute - here in Staffordshire it is our belief that any Service that is not contributing to the root cause issues that impact our communities in so many ways, is denying those they serve of solutions to problems that are readily available.

"We now look forward to the official opening of the next six community fire stations in this particular scheme, before we move onto the rebuild of a further 11 stations included in our second PFI project."

Posted: 10.22am, 23.06.11, rachael.haydon