WORK has started on construction of a new community fire station on Callerton Lane in Ponteland.

The new station will replace the existing building which is being displaced by the development of two new schools, a leisure centre and sports facilities in the area.

The new site will include a single storey, seven metre high fire station, a 14-metre high training tower, a training yard and 13 parking bays. There will also be new trees and landscaping on the site.

Leader of Northumberland County Council, Coun. Peter Jackson, cut the first sod to get work under way, accompanied by Coun. John Riddle, cabinet member responsible for Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, deputy chief fire officer Mark McCarty and other representatives of the council, fire and rescue service and contractors Kier Construction. The new station is due to open this autumn.