Each of England's regional fire and rescue services will receive at least £1m to spend over the next two years

Every fire and rescue service (FRS) in England will get a share of £78m to improve buildings, the government said today.

The Department for Communities and Local Government announced that every FRS in the country will receive at least £1m over the two financial years 2009/10 and 2010/11, with a top-up depending on population numbers. The services are free to decide how to spend the money.

Eight FRSs will get over £2m, including Essex, Kent, Greater Manchester and Devon. London is set to receive £5.86m, while the Isles of Scilly will receive £100,000, in line with its population of 2,000 people.

The government has allocated £500m through the PFI programme over the past 10 years, but this is the first time that new money for capital investment has been awarded to every FRS without exception.

Fire minister Sadiq Khan said: “Each area will be able to decide for itself whether this extra money is used to tackle the more serious repairs, replacements or upgrades, or provide additional facilities such as those for female firefighters, or those for the community in helping spread the fire safety message.”

Every Fire Service to get share of £78million to upgrade buildings