FIREFIGHTERS will move into a brand new fire station in York next week.

It has cost £2.3 million - and it only came about after protests from an unlikely alliance of conservationists and the firefighters' union.

So what does York's new fire station in Kent Street have to offer?

Firstly, says York station manager Paul Bennett, the space and facilities for training that the old fire station in Clifford's Street has never had.

There's a big training tower, giving firefighters opportunity to practise pitching and climbing ladders and using line rescue equipment for lowering 'casualties.' Then there's a yard, where they can practise unrolling and rolling hoses, and a vehicle compound where they can practise cutting casualties out of old cars.

Inside, there's a training room, mess area, a six-bed dormitory, a series of offices and a community room which local organisations can hire out. And there's even - Bridget Jones take note- a traditional fireman's pole. The site is also flood-free, unlike the old riverside fire station, which was partially inundated in November 2000 and again in September 2012.

There are three vehicle bays - one for a rescue boat and trailer and one for an engine. But Clifford's Street's second engine and an aerial ladder platform will be transferring across to Huntington fire station along with 25 crew members.

York Civic Trust, York Conservation Trust and the Fire Brigades Union opposed this move, claiming medieval timber-framed buildings in the city centre would be at increased risk in a major blaze. But the service responded by saying 31,000 residents in northern York would enjoy better cover and crews would be able to attend crashes more quickly.

The impact of the change will be reviewed in 12 months after completion, with one option remaining for the second engine to return to the city centre.