Fire controlThe government has provided used its six monthly update on the improvements being delivered by the 22 local Future Control Room projects to highlight how the six projects due to be completed this year have increased overall projected savings to £143 million.

The report also sets out the progress being made to market and dispose of the remaining Regional Fire Control Centres - of which five of the original nine FiRe Control Centres have been disposed since 2010 with Wakefield and Cambridge set to be sub-let.

Following the closure of the failed FiReControl project in December 2010, the Department for Communities and Local Government provided Fire and Rescue Authorities with £81m to deliver improvements to the efficiency and resilience of their fire control rooms.

This led to the commissioning of 22 Future Control Room projects - from 44 FRS proposals including 15 partnerships - across the country offering improved resilience benefits, projected savings, and additional benefits locallly.

To date 16, out of the Scheme’s 22 projects, which represents 73% completion rate, with 10 further projects having been completed since March 2015:
• Cleveland
• Oxfordshire, Royal Berkshire, Buckingham and Milton Keynes
• South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire
• Kent and Medway
• Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire
• Devon and Somerset, Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire
• Surrey and Isle of Wight
• Cornwall and North Yorkshire
• Staffordshire and West Midlands
• London.

The remaining six projects estimate completion in 2016. Four of those projects anticipate completion before the end of March 2016, one of which has altered its completion date to come in line with the expected ‘go live’ date of its ‘buddying partner.’ However, its present system supports all the resilience benefits (some 90%) other than automatic failover, which it will be able to deliver when its buddying partner goes live.

More than 420 resilience benefits are expected to be in place when all of the projects have completed. 110 benefits were in place at the baseline of October 2009, leaving 311 resilience benefits to be delivered through the Control rooms Scheme. The total forecasted savings for the Control Rooms Scheme now stand at £143 million, £8 million more than reported in the March 2015 update, and an increase of £15 million on the 2012 baseline.

Alongside this, the government has successfully disposed of five of the original nine FiRe Control Centres since 2010 saving the tax payer £6 million per annum. Since the last update in March 2015, interest received in Wakefield and Cambridge from two separate private sector organisations has been progressed, resulting in terms being agreed to sub-let both centres, resulting in total anticipated savings to the Department of £15.6 million for Cambridge and £5.3 million for Wakefield over the remaining lease. They are also investigating interest received in Taunton and Castle Donington Centres.

To read the latest updates visit www.gov.uk/government/publications/future-control-room-improvements-fire-and-rescue-authority-schemes-december-2015-update