GM Police Authority rubber-stamps divisional HQ plans

Michael Hunt

Plans for a new divisional headquarters for North Manchester to be built at Central Park have been given final approval by Greater Manchester Police Authority.

The 125,273 sq ft building, being designed by Aedas and costing £35m, forms part the £56m scheme announced last year of a new overall 240,000 sq ft Force HQ, now on site at the same business park, being developed by Ask:Goodman on behalf of urban regeneration company New East Manchester.

David Burkinshaw, director at Ask Developments, said: "Ask:Goodman is delighted the deal with GMP/GMPA has been finalised. Securing another HQ building for Greater Manchester Police is another successful step forward for the Park and we look forward to getting started on site in the immediate future."

James Raven, development director for UK Business Parks at Goodman, said: "Approval from the Greater Manchester Police Authority for a new divisional headquarters really puts Manchester Central Park on the map. Both the Force headquarters and divisional headquarters deal highlight the significant need from many public sector organisations to overhaul ageing facilities in order to improve services and we look forward to working with GMPA to help them achieve this. With a great deal of activity taking place at Central Park this year and with the Metrolink arriving in 2011, it is proving to be the ideal destination for many businesses."

Eddie Smith, chief executive of New East Manchester, added: "This announcement strengthens Central Park in east Manchester as an office destination, bringing more jobs and investment to the area. The stunning building for the Force headquarters is now really taking shape and to have the North Manchester divisional headquarters positioned next to it will be a superb addition to the site, helping to deliver significant regeneration benefits to the people of east Manchester."

It means Bootle Street, Newton Heath and Grey Mare Lane police stations will all close as they no longer support the needs of a 21st Century police force. In addition, Collyhurst Police Station is being refurbished and accommodation will be provided for a Neighbourhood Policing Team at Bradford Park.

Custody facilities at the sites earmarked for demolition and those at Collyhurst Police Station will be replaced by one facility to hold 30 cells on the same site as the new divisional HQ.

In addition, custody facilities for use by the North West Counter Terrorism Unit hub will also be located at Central Park.

A total of 12 CTU cells are planned and funding for eight of them at a cost of almost £5m is to be provided by the Government's Office of Security and Counter Terrorism.

GMPA will provide funding for the remaining four cells and all the other elements of the reorganisation of North Manchester Division project. The authority contribution totals more than £51m.

Work is due for completion in September 2011.

The refurbishment of Collyhurst Police Station is set to begin in November 2011 and take 12 months to complete.

Both Bootle Street and Grey Mare Lane police stations are to be disposed of when market conditions are more favourable. The disposal of Newton Heath is expected in November 2011.

Cushman & Wakefield and Lambert Smith Hampton advise Ask:Goodman.

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