Martin Osborne Design Services had outgrown rented offices at Holdingham and acquired the vacated fire station on Church Lane in Sleaford
Martin explained: “I wanted somewhere for myself. I submitted a closed tender to the county council and in the first week of lockdown I got a call to say: ‘congratulations you’ve got the fire station’. The timing probably helped me in terms of easy availability of tradespeople.”
At times he has had up to 15 tradespeople on site, but said the end result is: “well worthwhile.”
Martin set up Lincs Design Group in April with reinforced concrete and BIM designer Nathan Bradford of T3 UK, who has moved in too and they will soon be getting a roads and drainage specialist on board to complete the in-house package.
The Station House, as it has been renamed, has a reception area converted from the station manager’s office. It even has an illuminated ‘FIRE’ sign which used to be on the outer wall, while the old fire hose and reel remain attached outside.
The kit room is Martin’s office while the main fire engine garage space accommodates the rest of the team, with a partition leaving the option to split the property in two. Other rooms serve as storage, kitchen and toilets.
Martin said despite lockdown the industry has been very busy with householders choosing to use unspent holiday savings on home improvement projects.
At the rear, the old fire station rest room has been turned into a small conference centre (www.sleafordconferencecentre.com) which can be hired out for training and meetings with capacity for over 30 people.
The condemned training tower in the yard is to be removed to free up extra parking space.
Martin proudly admits: “I could have flattened it and built houses, but now I have seen people slow down as they pass by to look at the transformation.”