THERE are no immediate plans to close any of Bolton’s fire stations and lessons have been learnt from The Cube blaze in new proposals, Greater Manchester’s chief fire officer has said.

Two years ago, speculation surfaced that two of the town’s stations would shut and be replaced by another base in cost-cutting measures.

But after unveiling a regional fire plan, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service chief fire officer Dave Russel said there are no stations under threat of closure at the moment.

He said: “No fire stations will be closing at this particular time. There are no plans to cut appliances too.

“We have 50 across Greater Manchester now, we had six cut before my arrival. If anything we are trying to invest in our frontline.”

However, the chief officer did concede that the budget given to the service “will always be a pressure”.

Mr Russel also said the new plan is also influenced by The Cube fire in November 2019.

Changes in how the service deal with high rise building blazes have been made such as improving the evacuation process.

But he added: “Prior to The Cube fire a number of changes were put in place and I believe they played a part in having a successful outcome with there being no injuries or loss of life.”

In his previous role at Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, Mr Russel was given the task of incident commander in leading the fight against the devastating Winter Hill wildfires ,which raged for 41 days in 2018. And his experience in leading the operation has been taken into account in the plan.

He said the service has brought in specialist Haglund fire engines to tackle moorlands fires and a team focussed on dealing with such incidents is being trained.

The fire plan, which was written up by Mr Russel, Metro Mayor Andy Burnham and deputy mayor Bev Hughes sets out six priorities. They include providing a fast, safe and effective service, helping people to reduce the risk of fires and other emergencies and developing a “culture of excellence, equality and inclusivity”.