Willmott Dixon has been chosen by Grosvenor Developments Ltd as preferred bidder for the £17.5m project to build the new Parkside Fire Station in Cambridge.

The development is an important project in the centre of Cambridge, which will see the current fire station adjacent to Parker’s Piece demolished and replaced with a new fire station.

As part of the redevelopment, which will be called Parkside Place, Willmott Dixon will also build 99 apartments over the station. The apartments will be a mix of one, two and three bedrooms with 39 being affordable. The architect is Glenn Howells and work will start in summer 2011 and be complete in March 2013.

While the redevelopment is taking place, firefighters will be based on a temporary site owned by the Territorial Army on Coldhams Lane. When complete, the new fire station will save substantially on the estimated £4 million running costs of the current facility over the next five years.

Ed Skeates, director at Grosvenor Developments, said: "This is a really exciting project, and a great way to get 2011 off to a good start. The fire service is a very important public service and we look forward to having their new home and these very attractive new apartments ready in 2013."

Willmott Dixon was one of six firms bidding for the contract and managing director Tim Carpenter says, “We are delighted to be chosen by Grosvenor to work with them on creating such an important new facility for the fire service, alongside providing quality housing in a great location. The fact that it’s our first ever contract with Grosvenor makes it even more special.

“We have a long and proud track record in Cambridge, including working with the University of Cambridge on several projects such as the Hauser Forum, Physics for Medicine and Plant Growth Facility, and have also been responsible for the recent Netherhall and Borough Green schools, plus Bassingbourn Children’s Centre.