WATCH: March held in Sunderland to save city centre fire station

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SCORES of people marched through Sunderland city centre as part of a campaign to save a fire station.

Sunderland Central Fire Station is one of three stations earmarked for closure by the authority as it looks to save cash following £8.8million of Government cuts.

A march and rally took place to protest against the closure of Sunderland Central Fire Station. The march began at the station with the rally and speaches in the Market Square beside the Bridges Shopping Centre.

A march and rally took place to protest against the closure of Sunderland Central Fire Station. The march began at the station with the rally and speaches in the Market Square beside the Bridges Shopping Centre.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service unveiled plans to cut 131 jobs – 20 per cent of front-line posts – in October 2013.

In March, the authority announced the station, alongside those in Wallsend and Gosforth, had been handed a stay of execution and would not close until June 2017, with efforts being made to try and find the funds up to that date and a financial review being carried out every year in the meantime.

Sunderland Central MP Julie Elliott, city council leader Coun Paul Watson and union officials addressed the crowd in Sunderland Market Place.

Mrs Elliott said that although the station had won a stay of execution, with closure put back to 2017, it was important to keep the campaign going and not allow the closure threat to slip off the agenda

“Today is about keeping the fire station campaign in the public eye,” she said.

“We have had the decision deferred until 2017, but that is not the same as saying it has gone away completely.

“We need to keep the pressure on the fire authority to make sure it stays open.”