Royal visits for 999 training centre and park show venue

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EMERGENCY services bosses and show organisers welcomed royal visitors yesterday as the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester toured a new 999 training centre and a town centre park.

The Duchess met South Yorkshire’s chief constable David Crompton and chief fire officer Jamie Courtney at the Lifewise Centre in Hellaby, a joint venture between the two services.

The centre has been designed to provide realistic training scenarios for both officers and the public and includes a mocked-up street where road safety and other sessions take place.

Staff first moved into the new Lifewise Centre almost 12 months ago after moving from Rotherham’s Magna science education centre, but the Duchess took part in an official opening yesterday lunchtime.

A spokesman for the South Yorkshire Road Safety Partnership, which is based at the venue, said: “The new Lifewise centre allows more staff be located at the centre to make it the ‘heart’ of community safety work in South Yorkshire.

The set was designed by local theatre set designers; Lantern and the centre has had fantastic support from businesses, volunteers and trades people from across South Yorkshire who gave up both their time and money to help build the set.”

After leaving the centre, the Duchess met up with her husband at nearby Clifton Park, where work is ongoing to prepare for the Rotherham Show, which takes place this weekend.

The Duke and Duchess began their tour of the park at the cenotaph and were then shown around the park’s Memorial Garden.

They were then invited to see the improvements to the park made over recent months, and meet council workers who were putting the finishing touches to the show area

The couple then travelled on the park’s road train to its new Garden Building where they metcouples from Rotherham who were celebrating their Diamond and Platinum wedding anniversaries and other invited guests.

The Duke and Duchess then unveiled a plaque to officially open the Garden Room.

The free Rotherham Show takes place on Saturday and Sunday and will include music, a vintage vehicle rally, fun fair, and a horticultural show.