Steel frame finished for firefighting fitness centre

The £5.2m Toxteth Fire Fit Hub in Liverpool, which combines a fire station and sports centre, is on track for completion by the end of 2012.

Wates Construction started on site at the corner of Windsor and Upper Warwick Street in November and has assembled 2,061 beams with 6,943 bolts in the past three months.

The facilities will include new football pitches, martial arts studio, dance studio and a gym that will host train-like-a-firefighter classes.

Liverpool FirefitJohn Shannon, business unit director at Wates Construction in the North West, said: "Today marks a significant milestone in such an innovative project and one which will provide comprehensive facilities at the heart of Toxteth's community. The Toxteth Fire Fit Hub is set to make a real impact on both the social and physical regeneration of the area and we are committed to offering positive opportunities for local people throughout and beyond the life of the project."

Throughout the project, Wates has guaranteed to offer six apprentice placements for the Toxteth and wider Merseyside area. These will include an electrician, plumber, commercial trainee, plasterer and administrator.

The Toxteth Fire Fit Hub was awarded to Wates through the North West Construction Hub following the company's appointment to both the medium and high value Hub frameworks in 2010.

The Department for Education's myplace initiative gave £2.3m towards the centre, and Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, £2.8m and Liverpool City Council provided funding, £500,000.

The hub was designed by Liverpool-based architectural and planning practice Cass Associates.

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