Following a decision by Police and Crime Commissioner, Julia Mulligan, to move the North Yorkshire Police headquarters to central Northallerton, she has now confirmed that the current Newby Wiske headquarters site is up for sale.
The new police headquarters will be Alverton Court in Northallerton, the former Rural Payments Agency building.
Julia Mulligan track record on moving to a new police headquarters has been less than impressive during her term.
Her failure to listen to the public over the proposal for a new-build headquarters in South Kilvington led to the project be halted. The abortive costs are several hundred thousand pounds to the force. In October 2014 a Freedom of Information request put that figure as £611,662, with the final figure yet to be disclosed.
Newby Wiske Hall, The Grade II-listed country home, has served as North Yorkshire Police’s headquarters for nearly 40 years. Prior to its current use, Newby Wiske served as a training centre for the old North Riding Constabulary from 1954.
The police are due to move to their new building in autumn 2017, and say they will accept interest on the current site from all interested parties.
The new headquarters at Alverton Court (built in 1999), Northallerton, offers modern facilities and good public transport links. The site was selected because it is just six miles from the current HQ, meaning minimal impact on the headquarters workforce. It will also be less expensive to run, more efficient and offer better accommodation for in comparison with building at Newby Wiske.
Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, said:
One of the first commitments I made on taking up office was to move North Yorkshire Police out of the expensive and largely unsuitable Newby Wiske site into more accessible accommodation, better suited to a modern police service.
Putting Newby Wiske Hall up for sale is a very welcome step along this journey, but one with mixed emotions.
It has been used by police in North Yorkshire for over 60 years, but it is right we are moving on and can look the future with confidence. I am also pleased that we are remaining in Hambleton District and will continue to support the local economy.
Chief Constable Dave Jones said:
It is significant that such an important project for North Yorkshire Police continues to move forward, as it will ensure we can provide a more effective, efficient and sustainable policing service for everyone in our county.
Although there will be many that will be saddened by the loss of such a historical policing building, Newby Wiske Hall can no longer support the demands of a modern police service.
Elections for Police and Crime Commissioners will be on Thursday the 5th of May 2016. Mike Pannett is standing as Independent Police and Crime Commissioner Candidate.
Mike Pannett, said:
I do hope the business case for the move to Alverton Court and the sale of Newby Wiske Hall is a lot stronger than we’ve seen so far. I’m afraid after South Kilvington, the rhetoric of the PCC and the Chief Constable just doesn’t provide the confidence for us all to be convinced that this is well thought out.
This is not pocket change we’re talking about here, its millions and millions of pounds. The public are entitled to hold the PCC to account and understandably will want to see this expenditure justified. Those millions would put an awful lot of police officers in our villages and towns.
The present PCC made moving to a new police headquarters part of her previous election manifesto and has failed.
The question I now ask is this; will the existing Northallerton Police Station and custody facilities be closed?
You only need to look at the custody facility closures of Skipton and Selby to understand why I ask this question. If so, it will leave North Yorkshire with only 3 custody suites. This is totally unacceptable for so many reasons. Other police forces have already tried this, and it failed for them.
It is now costing those forces millions to rebuild their facilities.