THE GOVERNMENT is beefing up the country's response to terrorist attack with a national network of fire and rescue control centres.
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister initiative will build nine centres at a cost of nearly £80 million, replacing the 46 existing control rooms.
The scheme is part of a £1 billion initiative to upgrade fire and rescue control centres over 15 years, beginning in 2009.
Fire and rescue service minister Jim Fitzpatrick said: 'In the light of the events of July 7 we need control centres that are resilient enough to deal with a terrorist attack.' The decision to overhaul the network followed a Mott MacDonald report which concluded the present system was too costly and inefficient.
Seven sites have already been chosen with locations for the remaining pair ? London and the south-east ? due to be announced shortly. The seven sites already known are: Durham, Warrington, Cambridge, Castle Donnington, Leicestershire, Wolverhampton, Wakefield, West Yorkshire and Taunton in Somerset.
The ODPM has also announced seven developers who will be in charge of bringing each site up to scratch.
They are: Helios (Durham); Lingley Mere Business Park Development Corporation (Warrington); Slough Trading Estate (Cambridge); Wilson Bowden (Castle Donnington); Bowmer and Kirkland/Peveril Securities (Wolverhampton); Yorkcourt Properties (Wake-field) and Summerfield Developments (Taunton).