Work to prepare the site of Bridlington’s new lifeboat station on Spa Promenade is set to get underway later this week.
The new building will replace the charity’s current lifeboat station on South Marine Drive, which has operated since 1903 and is now too cramped and outdated for the RNLI’s needs.
The initial works to Spa Promenade will include setting up of a site compound, realignment of a section of the existing sea wall, resurfacing of the promenade in front of the Yorkshire Water pumping station and other preparatory works. Pedestrian access along the promenade will be maintained during the project, with the exception of a short period - anticipated to be December 2015 or January 2016 - when the promenade resurfacing will be carried out.
The initial phase of the project is expected to be complete by May 2016 and will be followed by the construction of the new lifeboat station, which should be finished in spring 2017.
Stuart Tibbett, Bridlington RNLI Coxswain, said everyone at the lifeboat station was looking forward to seeing the work start.
“It’s still going to be some time before the volunteer crew can move into our new home but knowing that work is actually getting underway makes it finally seem real! The new lifeboat station is going to make a huge difference to us – not only will it help speed up our launch times, we will also have much more space, proper training and changing facilities and, for the first time, both the inshore and all weather lifeboats can be housed together.”
The two-storey boat house will offer the extra space required to house Bridlington’s new state-of-the-art Shannon class lifeboat and launch vehicle and will mean that they remain coupled together when not in use, speeding up the launch process when the crew are called out on a life-saving mission. The building’s location, adjacent to the beach, means the lifeboat will no longer need to be taken along the main road to reach the sea but will have quicker and more direct access to the water.
It will also enable Bridlington’s inshore and all-weather lifeboats to be housed in the same building. Currently, lack of space in the old lifeboat station means the inshore lifeboat and crew equipment are housed separately on Princess Mary Promenade. There will also be space for the charity’s lifeguards to store the equipment needed for their summer beach safety patrols.
The new building, which will cost around £3M, will have modern training and changing facilities for the volunteer crew, a mechanic’s workshop, a shop and a viewing area so the public can see the lifeboat. There will also be display areas for the charity to mount exhibitions and share information about its lifesaving work.
Councillor Stephen Parnaby OBE, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “The council fully supports the lifesaving work of the RNLI and wishes the organisation well with the construction of its new lifeboat station on Spa Promenade.
“The new station is vital for the ongoing operations of the RNLI in and around the Bridlington area and will support the organisation in all aspects of its work, from launching its new state-of-the-art lifeboat to supporting beach safety patrols in the summer.”
The lifeboat station has been designed by long-established York architects Brierley Groom.