West Midlands Ambulance Service and West Mercia Police will become neighbours in north Shropshire later this year.

The police force has made an offer to buy the site currently occupied by Whitchurch Ambulance station. A new Community Ambulance Station (as part of West Midlands Ambulance Service’s ‘Make Ready’ plans) will be on the site alongside a new police station for the town.

The sale of the site to West Mercia Police is expected to be formally completed later this year.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We look forward to the new joint facility with West Mercia Police which can only be good for both us and them. For our part, there will be a reduction in the running costs experienced with our current ambulance station. By sharing premises with the police, there will be less for us to pay for, things like heating and grounds maintenance. It means there will be more money for frontline services and that is what is important for our patients.”

A West Mercia Police spokesperson said: "The existing police station is one of the oldest owned by West Mercia Police, it is both expensive to run and difficult to adapt to meet disabled access legislation.

"Co-locating emergency services makes sense to the organisations concerned and to the taxpayer. West Mercia Police are at the forefront of a national strategy aimed at reducing operating costs through co-location with the other emergency services and the wider public sector. We welcome the opportunity to share the building with the Ambulance Service and are looking to develop this partnership elsewhere in West Mercia."

‘Make Ready’ is a system whereby large central hubs are established in strategic locations. West Midlands Ambulance Service is currently searching for a suitable location for such a hub. Vehicles will start and finish at the hub but will then immediately spread out to Community Ambulance Stations across Shropshire from where they will respond to medical emergencies. Under ‘Make Ready’, West Midlands Ambulance Service would have more Community Ambulance Stations in the county than it has traditional ambulance stations at present. When fully implemented ‘Make Ready will provide 24/7 teams of Community Paramedics to Shropshire. One such team will be introduced to Whitchurch, ringfenced to the town and its immediate surrounding area.

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