A NEW regional fire control centre in Fareham has been delayed due to IT problems.

The Government has admitted its £380m project to build nine of the networked hi-tech fire brigade control centres, whose IT systems are already two years behind schedule, has slipped by five months.

It means the centre built at Kite Croft Business Park in Segensworth to cover the south-east won’t be operational until spring 2012.

The first three centres for the north east, east Midlands and south west will now go live in summer 2010 — nine months later than expected.

Fire union chiefs have already called for an urgent investigation over claims that the cost of the regional control centres, which will replace 46 emergency fire control rooms in England, has spiralled millions of pounds over budget.