A £4.9million refurbishment of Preston Circus fire station is to begin next month.
Firefighters will operate from another site on Dyke Road while the extensive “once in a generation” revamp of the 1930s building gets underway.
East Sussex Fire and Rescus Service was given planning permission a year ago for the revamp, which includes building a new community room on the ground floor.
Most of the ground floor will remain as a garage for fire engines, while the first floor will have a new gym, lockers and showers.
The second floor will be a mix of offices to be leased plus bedrooms and a recreation room for firefighters.
Aand a new kitchen and dining room will be built on the partial third floor, with access to the roof.
While the landmark building in Brighton was built in the 1930s, the site has been used for firefighting since 1901.
Chief Fire Officer Dawn Whittaker said: “The fire and rescue service has changed dramatically since this building was constructed and we are pleased that the fire authority is investing significantly in our busiest fire station to ensure that our firefighters are provided with a space which is fit for the future and which can continue to provide a vital service to the communities of Brighton and Hove.”
Tom Walby, Station Manager for Preston Circus said: “The dedicated teams that work 24/7, 365 days of the year from Preston Circus are excited that the station will fit the needs of the 21st century and beyond.
“Whilst still maintaining much of the sites valuable history, the crews and support staff are looking forward to returning to a new era in this building.
“Our plans will also help reduce the risks posed by contaminants to firefighters when carried back to the station on equipment and clothing after incidents.”
The landmark curved front of the station will be protected.
The site will be handed over to Morgan Sindall at the end of the month.
Guy Hannell, Morgan Sindall Construction’s Southern Home Counties area director, said:“The Preston Circus Community Fire Station plays a vital role in the local area and we’ve been closely collaborating with East Sussex Fire Authority to give it a new lease of life.
“This will include upgrading the staff environment, such as with individual sleeping pods and a vital decontamination space.
“The building’s sustainability performance will also be modernised, with new and efficient heating systems installed.
“Throughout this project, we will be engaging with the community and leveraging our experience working on heritage sites in busy urban areas to ensure that the refurbishment is conducted as sympathetically as possible.
“This will include generating social value by supporting students just starting out in construction as well as utilising local businesses and the supply chain.”