Wirral to consider plans for emergency services training centre
AMBITIOUS plans have been drawn up to create an emergency services training centre in a former factory in Wirral.
The project by Hyperbaric Treatment & Training Ltd, currently based at Murrayfield, Barnston in Wirral would see a mock-up village street and train derailment scenarios available for training police, fire and paramedics.
Manager Dave Allcock said the hyperbaric facilities – often used for divers – would remain close to the hospital on the Murrayfield site but the new unit would provide extra space for expanding training opportunities.
He said: “We work with John Moores on the practical aspects of paramedic training.
“This new site will give us extra facilities to train for RTCs and major incidents, which we can recreate.
“The problem with where we are now is we’re running out of space.
“We have some fantastic ideas, such as creating a village inside the factory. We would have houses and shops. A railway would be put in so we can do work on derailments.”
To allow the scheme to progress members of Wirral Council’s planning committee will be asked to approve the change of use of the former BASF factory site on East Street in Seacombe.
A report by planning officers has recommended the scheme – which is to set up in conjunction with John Moores University – should be approved.
The report to the planning committee said the site currently consists of a large warehouse previously used for a “general industrial purpose” and offices in two locations – within the warehouse itself in a central core set over three floors, and within a standalone two-storey office building. The proposal is to change the use of the entire site to allow training use.
The officers’ report also said: “The applicant has outlined that the building has been vacant for at least 12 years and as such the benefit of providing a viable employment use is considered a strong material consideration.
“The nature of the use proposed is relatively unique, leading to the requirement for a large warehouse space to allow reconstruction of pre-hospital trauma event scenarios and other life-support and trauma events.
“The proposed training would be delivered in conjunction with the emergency services, and the applicant has indicated that the location, adjacent to the River Mersey is a key requirement, permitting future training events involving river access.”
The plans were going before Wirral Council’s planning committee this week.