Emergency services in Cheshire have backed plans to have fire and police headquarters under the same roof.

The merger could save the public £1.5m a year due to reduced costs, but will cost an estimated £6.6m to set up.

Chiefs at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and Cheshire Police agreed to the idea on December 9.

It is hoped the two services will be sharing the Clemonds Hey HQ in Winsford by April 2018.

Cheshire Fire Authority chairman John Joyce said: “This is an ambitious programme, but it is one we believe offers us the best chance of continuing to protect and improve the safety of the communities we serve.”

“Working together like this means we can minimise the impact of the cuts all public services are facing.

“Ultimately there will be more resilient support services with improved career prospects for many employees in a larger organisation.”

Under the plans Cheshire Fire would sell their current base in Winsford off Sadler Road.

While front-line departments would stay separate, under the same roof the back office and majority of professional services could be shared.

Cheshire's Police and Crime Commissioner John Dwyer

Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner John Dwyer said: “This innovative and pioneering partnership will have enormous benefits for both public services, while enabling us to maintain our distinct identities and frontline services.

“Financially it will enable us to focus public money on areas where Cheshire residents want it spent.

“Symbolically, bringing both command teams together under one roof at Clemonds Hey will have real benefits for the way both organisations work.

“We will learn from each other, and more importantly, it will help us to work more closely together which is incredibly important.”

Constabulary chiefs recently welcomed news police budgets would not be cut further in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.

A public consultation, where the community, staff and other organisations can comment on the plans, is ongoing until the end of December.

Is it a good idea for Cheshire's emergency services to share a HQ? Let us know in the comments below: