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Southwark fire training centre shuts as school plan progresses

The last firefighters to be instructed at the London Fire Brigade's Southwark Training Centre left the site last week as plans for new homes and a secondary school move forward.

Southwark fire training centre shuts as school plan progresses
Southwark fire training centre shuts as school plan progresses

The closure of the training centre comes nearly a year and a half after the last firefighters left Southwark Fire Station.

The Southwark Bridge Road site has played a key role in London's fire service since 1878 and continues to house the London Fire Brigade Museum.

Earlier this month the London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) exchanged contracts with developers Hadston who plan to build new homes on the site as well as creating a new secondary free school.

The deal was signed on 6 May as Mayor of London Boris Johnson had imposed a tight timetable to ensure the future of the site was resolved before the general election.

The SE1Parents campaign group held a demonstration outside LFEPA's headquarters on 1 May to encourage authority members to enshrine the provision of a new school in the terms of the deal.

Speaking before the general election, Bermondsey & Old Southwark's new Labour MP Neil Coyle said: "I welcome this decision to move ahead with the plans for a much-needed secondary school on the Southwark Fire Station site.

"It is important that this site is used to benefit the local community so I welcome the protections LFEPA have secured to the sale of this site to make sure it is used for a school.

"I've been working hard to make sure we have enough school places in the constituency to meet demand."

He added: "This new school will create 1,100 new secondary school places, which will help meet growing demand in the north of the borough.

"A big thanks and congratulations is owed to the huge campaign effort of the SE1Parents they've shown that community campaigning really makes a difference."

At the 1 May demonstration the then Lib Dem election candidate Simon Hughes confirmed earlier media reports naming Balliol College Oxford as a prospective sponsor of the new school.

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