Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service's partner business Impeller closes down after contract is cut

Eight people have lost their jobs after fire chiefs terminated their relationship with the Wearside social enterprise.

Wednesday, 6th November 2019, 11:13 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th November 2019, 12:05 pm
Impeller was based at Tyne & Wear Fire & Rescue Service's Barmston Mere HQ

Impeller Assurance & Resilience was Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service’s commercial partner and based at the service’s Barmston Mere headquarters.

Set up four years ago, the firm provided fire compliance services and training to a variety of businesses throughout the UK including first aid training, leadership development programmes and fire risk assessments.

As a social enterprise, its profits were reinvested in local community fire safety projects via its charity, the Impeller Foundation.

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The business used fire service personnel to carry out its training and since incorporation in 2015, it had paid Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service £600,000 for services.

Impeller was shortlisted for the Sunderland Echo Portfolio Business Awards, to be held tomorrow, Thursday, November 7.

Its awards entry set out the business’ philosophy: “We are a passionate supporter of our local community and are constantly looking to the social value we can bring to our area.

“Ultimately, the more commercially successful our business is, the more we can donate to fire safety projects however we aim to reach this by being socially, ethically and morally accountable.

“The more delegates we can train in fire safety, first aid and mental health first aid will also make a measurable impact. A workforce that is more aware of fire and health and safety risks are less likely to be involved in accidents or fires, this in turn reduces the number of calls to our emergency services, prevention rather than cure is always a more cost effective solution and ultimately has an effect on the wider community in increasing safety.”

But now the fire authority had decided to end the service’s relationship with Impeller.

A Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “Following a very lengthy and detailed discussion at its October meeting, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Authority made the unanimous decision to end its relationship with Impeller.

“We will continue to work with Impeller and their professional advisers to carry out the Authority’s decision by terminating the arrangements with the company as soon as possible.”