Closure of Lanarkshire fire station announced following public consultation

Leadhills Community Fire Station in South Lanarkshire will close following the outcome of a public consultation held earlier this year.

At its meeting on 23 November 2023, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Board was presented with two options; to reinstate operations or close the fire station.

After carefully considering a range of factors about the fire station, as well as views expressed by local residents and stakeholders, the option to close the facility was approved.

The fire station, which relies on volunteer firefighters, serves the small rural villages of Leadhills and Wanlockhead in Dumfries and Galloway. Volunteer firefighters carry a pager and carry out community fire safety activities. They also respond to a limited number of incidents including outdoor fires and in some cases road traffic collisions.

Due to recruitment challenges in Leadhills, neighbouring crews based in Abington and Sanquhar have attended all incidents since 2015.

Ross Haggart is the Chief Officer of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. He said: “I want to personally thank the community for their involvement in the consultation process and for sharing their views on the future of the fire station.

“The Board carefully considered these views along with data on incidents in the area, recruitment challenges and the continued cost of leasing and maintaining a building that has not been used for more than eight years. Taking all of this into account, the decision has been made to close the station.

“Community safety will always be our priority and our staff will ensure that residents in Leadhills and Wanlockhead will be fully supported going forward.”

Residents will be offered a Home Fire Safety Visit where they will receive bespoke advice about their property to prevent fires and stay safe.

In the event of an emergency in the area, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service will continue to mobilise the nearest available resources to the scene.

The current volunteer employees based at Leadhills Community Fire Station will continue to be supported throughout these changes.

Jim Quinn is the Local Senior Officer for Lanarkshire. He said: “We are engaging with staff, residents and stakeholders directly to ensure they are made aware of the decision by the Board.

“Our community action teams will be undertaking visits to households in Leadhills and Wanlockhead to ensure that residents are fully supported with home fire safety advice.

“The area will continue to be served by firefighters based at Abington and Sanquhar as has been the case since 2015.

“As a national service, we will always mobilise the nearest available resources to any emergency."

The public consultation on the future of Leadhills Community Fire Station was held between 10 July and 18 August, 2023.

Two local events were held in Leadhills to give members of the community an opportunity to express their views. An online survey was also available, which received 27 responses.

During the pre-consultation stage, stakeholders and local residents were asked to submit any additional proposals around the future of Leadhills Community Fire Station, but no feasible suggestions were received.

Read more about the consultation and the Board’s decision.