Chief's Blog

NI Fire & Rescue Service

Capital Investment in NIFRS

Capital Investment in NIFRS

Category: Capital Investment    Date: 12th April 2017       

I am pleased to share  details about the significant progress made on two of our major capital projects – the Logistics Support Centre at Boucher Crescent, Belfast and our new Learning & Development Centre at Desertcreat.

Both projects have taken several years to get to this stage but we are finally seeing real progress being made on these much needed new facilities for our organisation.

Logistics Support Centre

Last month the first sod was cut at the Logistic Support Centre on Boucher Crescent, Belfast.  Work has now commenced on site following the appointment of Lowry Building & Civil Engineering as the principal contractor on the £7.8million project, which will be open and fully operational by Spring 2018.


The Logistics Support Centre will be the hub for the maintenance, servicing and repair of our fire appliances and operational equipment.  Our current workshops at Central Fire Station in Belfast, NIFRS HQ in Lisburn and the equipment workshop in our Learning & Development Centre will all relocate. Our stores will all come under one roof which will promote greater control and allow for the effective provision of supplies to all parts of the organisation.

In addition, our technical communication workshops and Standby Regional Control Centre will also be based in the new Logistics Support Centre.  Altogether there will be approximately 40 staff working from our new bespoke facility.  Having key operational support services working side by side will greatly enhance the efficiency of our Service and deliver real business improvement across the organisation.


The design team for the Logistics Support Centre is HLM who were also responsible for the award-winning design of Omagh Community Fire Station & District Headquarters which opened in 2014.


New Learning & Development Centre

It’s been well documented that we require a new training facility to meet our training needs both today and for the years ahead.

Back in September 2016, the then Health Minister Michelle O’Neill announced the appointment of Hamilton Architects as the design team for the early works in respect of a new Learning & Development Centre at Desertcreat.

Design work has progressed over the last number of months with the architects working closely with the NIFRS Project Board to finalise the design for Phase 1.

Phase 1 has an approved budget of £4.2million and will include:

  • 6-storey Tactical Firefighting Facility to train Firefighters in live fire scenarios
  • Support Building which incorporates a classroom, office, kitchen area, locker room and storage
  • A new access road to the site from the Dungannon Road

desercreat-phase-1-presentation_016  desercreat-phase-1-presentation_017

A planning application has been submitted to Mid Ulster District Council and subject to planning permission it is hoped work will commence on site by the end of 2017.  Work on Phase 1 will take approximately a year to complete and by early 2019 Phase 1 will be fully operational.  Work has already started on the planning and design stages for Phase 2 of the project which will cover the remainder of the training infrastructure works at Desertcreat.

I would like to thank our staff and all our key stakeholders for their assistance in making these projects a reality.

I look forward to providing further updates on these exciting projects as work continues over the coming months.

Best wishes,


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