London Fire Brigade

New Brigade training centre officially opened

06 February 2015

London Fire Brigade has unveiled its brand new state-of-the-art £7 million training centre in Park Royal.

The purpose built complex will complement the Brigade’s other dedicated training facility which opened in

Beckton last year and marks the completion of the biggest modernisation of firefighter training in the capital for over a century.

Park Royal, like the Brigade’s other flagship training venue in Beckton, is provided by the Brigade’s training partner Babcock. The facilities replace the Brigade’s former Southwark Training Centre which opened in 1878 and no longer fulfils the requirements of today’s fire and rescue service.

The world class venue features a four storey zero-emission fire house which allows firefighters to carry out fire and breathing apparatus training in a range of challenging real fire scenarios. This includes simulating fires in houses and commercial buildings and basements.

The centre, which covers 4,000 square metres and will run around 500 training courses a year, also provides a tower for ladder and line rescue training as well as classroom facilities.

With 60 square feet of solar panels to generate electricity, a green roof with vegetation layers to give insulation, chimneys to provide the building with natural wind ventilation and a system to recycle and reuse water used in training, the training centre’s green credentials are second to none.

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said: “Today’s firefighters don’t just fight fires. They need to be skilled in a wide range of disciplines and this state-of-the-art venue, along with our other centre of excellence in Beckton, will bring our training facilities into the 21st century and provide us with a first class, realistic, safe training environment that will prepare our staff for any challenge they might face.”

Gordon Reynolds, Director of Training, for Babcock International Group said: “Park Royal is a truly unique facility with its commitment to the green agenda and a specialist carbonaceous fire house, the only one in the UK to provide a real firehouse experience underground. We are proud to have been able to deliver this world class training facility for the London Fire Brigade.” 

The decision to outsource training for fire brigade staff in London to a private training provider is saving the London Brigade an estimated £66 million over the life of the contract.

Notes to editors

• Following a competitive tender process, London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority agreed to outsource training for fire brigade staff in London to private training provider, Babcock Training Limited in 2011 and the contract began in April 2012.

• Babcock has invested over £13m in new training facilities for the London Fire Brigade and outsourcing its training provision will save the Brigade an estimated £66 million over the next 25 years

• The outsourcing proposals have provided  two new Emergency Service training centres alongside upgrades to 10 regional training centres and all fire stations