AN AYRSHIRE MSP has expressed concerns over the condition of the main fire station serving Irvine – and raised fears for the safety of the public.

Katy Clark, Scottish Labour's spokesperson on community safety, raised the alarm this week after obtaining details showing the conditions and suitability of 356 buildings across the country.

The report, supplied the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) under freedom of information, raises major concerns about Dreghorn fire station in Corsehill Mount Road.

Though its suitability for firefighting was described as satisfactory, the condition of the building was rated as poor.

However the condition of the fire station in nearby Kilwinning was given as satisfactory, and it was marked as 'satisfactory' for suitability.

Katy Clark, who is also an MSP for West Scotland and who served as Westminster MP for North Ayrshire and Arran from 2005 until 2015, said the condition of fire stations like Dreghorn was unacceptable.

She added: “Firefighters, who work so hard to ensure the safety of people in our communities, need to be well equipped, well-resourced, well protected and well paid to do the job they do.

"The Scottish Government has had 15 years to modernise the estate. The real terms cuts in that time do not occur in a vacuum – they affect response times to emergency incidents, putting the public at risk.

“These figures must be a wake-up call – it’s time to modernise Scotland’s crumbling fire estate.”

In the SFRS report half of Scotland stations are described as being in “bad” or “poor” condition, with a further 47 percent assessed as being of “bad” or “poor” suitability.

One in four stations across Scotland did not have shower facilities for female firefighters, though Dreghon and Kilwinning both had them in place.

The report found that 40 percent of all fire stations are 50 years old or more, with Dreghorn having opened in 1980 and Kilwinning in 1978.

It also highlighted the fact that most fire stations in Scotland do not operate gender neutral facilities, though both Dreghorn and Kilwinning each had a gender neutral toilet.

Iain Morris, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service acting director of asset management, said: "The safety and welfare of our staff who serve communities across Scotland remains a priority for us.

"We are fully committed to addressing any challenges around the repair and maintenance of our buildings as we work tirelessly to balance our budget.

“We recognise that there are a number of fire stations where there are limited welfare facilities, these are already identified within our ongoing capital investment requirements and plans."

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Effective fire safety remains a priority for the Scottish Government and we have continued our commitment to support service delivery and reform with an increase of £14.4m in budget cover for SFRS in 2023-24.

“Decisions on the allocation of resources from the Scottish Government are a matter for SFRS and we will continue to work closely with them to identify the funding they need.”