Willmott Dixon has secured its latest large scale police custody suite as forces across the country continue to invest millions of pounds in carrying out major overhauls of their estates.
The company has been appointed by Lancashire Constabulary under Scape Group’s national major works framework for a £24m contract to replace its current Bonny Street Police Station with a new police headquarters in Blackpool.
It follows a string of recent projects to create modern facilities for police forces in Newcastle, West Midlands, South Yorkshire and South Wales.
Close to the M55 at the former Progress House site on Clifton Road, Lancashire Constabulary’s new facility which will be a headquarters for its West Division, covering Blackpool, Fylde, Wyre, Lancaster and Morecambe. Designed by McBains Cooper Consultancy, it will provide a base for local policing and immediate response teams as well as a public enquiry desk, investigations hub and 42 custody cells.
Chief Supt Stuart Noble, Divisional Commander for Lancashire Constabulary’s West Division, said: “The new building will see a massive improvement to our working environment, providing vital support to officers and staff who deliver frontline services to keep the area safe.
“This is a milestone moment for policing in Blackpool – one which we feel will ultimately help us to provide a better quality of service to the public.”
The investment, which is the biggest in the force’s history, is being funded as part of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s capital programme.
Lancashire PCC Clive Grunshaw said: “It is great to see our vision for the future coming to life. The new Headquarters will serve Fylde coast residents and police officers well for decades to come. This investment is not just great for the police but will also have a positive impact on the community and the local economy. Throughout the project, there will be opportunities for local suppliers to get involved and we are also providing apprenticeship opportunities in the area.”
Willmott Dixon managing director for the north, Anthony Dillon, said: “We’ll be taking our learning from other police forces and applying this experience here. We’ll also ensure the work benefits the local economy, with 20% spend within a 10-mile radius rising to 75% spend within a 40 miles.”
This is just one of a series of custody suites Willmott Dixon is responsible for building as police forces invest in larger custody suites to create better working environments for staff and detainees and provide more efficient use of property.
The new suites replace buildings no longer fit for purpose and are expected to save forces around £1m per year in running costs, allowing funds to be spent elsewhere to safeguard communities.