Newhaven is one step closer to having a new fire station and shared facility.
The facility will combine a fire station, council community hub and a neighbourhood policing base delivering a range of public services to residents.
Following a tendering process, Morgan Sindall has been selected to construct the new building.
The construction phase is due to be completed by autumn 2015.
On Friday (December 19), the chairman of East Sussex Fire Authority, Cllr Phil Howson, visited the site along with Fire Authority Member Cllr Carla Butler, leader of Lewes District Council cllr Rob Blackman, the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne and Inspector Rob Lovell from Sussex Police. Together they helped to make a start by digging the first hole in the ground.
Mr Howson said “This marks the beginning of an exciting journey to deliver a joint, multi-agency, collaborative project, which will deliver savings to the tax payer and improve local services to the residents of Newhaven.”
Cllr Rob Blackman said: “Lewes District Council, the fire and rescue service and Sussex Police sharing one building in Newhaven is not only an efficient use of resources but it’s also great news for residents as they can now access a range of services under one roof. From the perspective of town centre regeneration, we are bringing staff and customers into the heart of the town which will benefit the High Street.’
Katy Bourne said: “The combined services site here in Newhaven is a ground-breaking approach to emergency services collaboration.”