New training centre and fire station in Horsham named award winner

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West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service’s new training centre and fire station for Horsham, Platinum House, has been named the Building Project of the Year over £20m at the SECBE Constructing Excellence awards ceremony.

The multi-million-pound project, commissioned by West Sussex County Council and delivered by Willmott Dixon Construction and AtkinsRéalis acting on behalf of WSCC, beat tough competition from a number of construction projects across London and the South-East to win the category on Thursday, June 27.

The judging panel highlighted Platinum House as an inspirational project that delivered outstanding outcomes while demonstrating the successful implementation of better ways of working to provide a template for others to learn from.

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This state-of-the-art facility is equipped with cutting edge features that prepare firefighters for real life emergencies.

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service’s new training centre and fire station for Horsham, Platinum House, has been named the Building Project of the Year over £20m at the SECBE Constructing Excellence awards ceremony. Picture courtesy of West Sussex County CouncilWest Sussex Fire & Rescue Service’s new training centre and fire station for Horsham, Platinum House, has been named the Building Project of the Year over £20m at the SECBE Constructing Excellence awards ceremony. Picture courtesy of West Sussex County Council
West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service’s new training centre and fire station for Horsham, Platinum House, has been named the Building Project of the Year over £20m at the SECBE Constructing Excellence awards ceremony. Picture courtesy of West Sussex County Council

It includes a live-fire training facility – the first of its kind in the UK – along with a four-story cold smoke training tower, an incident command training facility, a road traffic collision training area, and digital simulation rooms making it a comprehensive solution for all firefighter training needs.

Construction at the site of the new training centre and fire station at Highwood Village near the A24 in Horsham began in November 2021.

A topping-out ceremony for the highest point of the building was completed in September 2022, and the site named as Platinum House in honour of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

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Fitting out continued into 2023, with WSFRS’s wholetime and retained firefighters beginning to respond to 999 calls from the new facility from July 2023.

Councillor Jeremy Hunt, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance and Property, said: “I am delighted that the judging panel has recognised all of the hard work and collaboration from across all partners involved in delivering this industry-leading facility, which will a benefit to all the residents of West Sussex.”

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service chief fire officer, Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, said: “Platinum House has set a new standard in firefighter training and showcases best practice and thoughtfulness towards gender equality in the workplace.

“The training centre will ensure that West Sussex’s firefighters continue to have the skills and knowledge to keep residents safe for years to come.”

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Richard Poulter, managing director for Willmott Dixon Construction said: “Platinum House is a showcase. The commitment to building excellence is second to none. Everyone working on this project was passionate about equality, diversity and sustainability.

“By working truly collaboratively from conception, it has allowed us all to create a best practice blue light facility for the community”.

Alex Kaitsis, associate director at AtkinsRéalis, said: “We are honoured to have been part of such a successful project.

“A project that contributes to a better society and one that will be there for generations to come, training the firefighters of the future.”

You can read more about Platinum House on the county council website.

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