Safeside was built by West Midlands Fire Service as part of a new Headquarters complex in the Eastside regeneration district of Birmingham. It was officially opened by HRH Duke Of Kent in 2009.
The centre comprises a full size street scene including double decker bus, car, canal, train and track, house, road crossing, shop, internet cafe, alleyway and police station. Safeside also includes conference and meeting facilities.
Funding and Governance
The centre is fully funded by West Midlands Fire Service and staff are all fire service employees. We have been generously supported by a number of partners in the development of our scenarios such the Co-op, Network Rail, Chiltern Railways, Western Power, Jaguar LandRover and National Express Bus. Nationwide Building Society have recently begun supporting our Safestart scheme, allowing free access and subsidised transport for the parents and carers of the under fives.
All programmes utilise our safety village in an interactive tour of around 2 hours in small groups. For some programmes we are now offering classroom-based workshops which look at some issues in greater depth.
Safestart: parents and carers of the under fives
Safety First: Years 3 & 4 - volunteer guides
Junior Citizen: Years 5 & 6 - volunteer guides
LIfeskills: Years 7 - 9, partly staffed by students from Birmingham School of Acting
NGAGE: Years 7-11, youth groups
Special Needs: all ages