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Today North Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner and Chief Constable can jointly announce their plans to develop a new Northern Base for North Yorkshire Police in the Thirsk area of Hambleton. (23 Sept 2013)
A new Headquarters will mean improved operational services being provided both locally in Hambleton, as well as more widely across North Yorkshire. Quick access to better roads and the potential to co-locate and collaborate with key partners such as Fire and Rescue will mean police officers in North Yorkshire will be able to do more for their communities.
A new build headquarters will also allow North Yorkshire Police to cost-effectively replace the dated custody facilities in Northallerton with a new custody suite which is compliant with Home Office standards.
The pre-tender budget estimates for the new Harrogate police station was £20.8 million, which takes into account the total cost of the project and includes land acquisition, connectivity, construction, fixtures fittings and all fees in respect of design and legal activities. Whilst the final account is yet to be finalised it is expected to be delivered for approx £18 million. The Northern Base will be a slightly bigger project, this should give an indication of what the total project cost might be. North Yorkshire Police have said they can not be more specific due to the sensitive commercial nature of the proposed build.
This will mean putting an end to the £1 million plus a year that is spent on the upkeep of the Grade II Newby Wiske Hall (pictured). A new headquarters will stand North Yorkshire Police in good stead for the next 25 years. Annual savings on running costs will amount to an estimated £100,000 per year, with £355,000 also saved from stock condition work – meaning an annual saving of £455,000.
Investing in a new headquarters, which will be funded by a mixture of reserves and a small amount of borrowing, does not come from the same budget as police officers. The amount of borrowing needed and the expense that will incur will be decided closer to the time when borrowing costs can be better established. Investing in Northern Base is a strategic decision that will actually mean more investment going into our police officers, who will be able to utilise technology and ensure more time is spent engaging with communities.
Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said:
I am committed to protecting our frontline police officers, but without investing in our estate we will not be able to support them as effectively as we know we can.
This decision wouldn’t even be on the table if there wasn’t a clear operational reason for it. Policing services will improve because of better support, more reliable infrastructure and better use of technology.
It’s also investment in North Yorkshire, and specifically Hambleton. The new facility will realise significant savings in terms of running costs and future capital savings following the sale of Newby Wiske Hall, which itself costs in the region of one million pounds a year to maintain.
Chief Constable Dave Jones said:
It makes long-term operational and financial sense to move North Yorkshire Police headquarters away from Newby Wiske Hall, which is simply not sustainable.
We want to build a modern headquarters that will also provide fit-for-purpose operational and custody facilities to replace those in Northallerton which have become outdated.
I am content that this is the best way forward to ensure North Yorkshire Police continues to provide the best possible service to local communities.