The green light has been given to schemes across the north-west of England which will mean 20 fire stations are built or refurbished.

Fire Minister Jim Fitzpatrick said five fire and rescue authorities around the country will take forward Private Finance Initiative schemes worth £125m.

Lancashire will have four new stations including ones in Blackburn and Burnley and one will be built in Carlisle.

Merseyside will get stations at Bootle, Allerton, Kirkdale and Netherton.

The station for Carlisle will replace the existing station which was damaged in the January floods.

In Lancashire, as well as being traditional fire stations, there will be facilities communities can use to learn about fire safety issues.

Mr Fitzpatrick said: "The selected projects will allow the rebuilding, refurbishment and relocation of community fire stations, helping the fire and rescue services in their drive to save more lives through improved response times and by providing better facilities for community fire safety work with local communities."