AN outgoing police boss cut the first sod on the ground of his force’s new base in one of his last roles in the job.
Durham’s Constabulary’s Chief Constable Jon Stoddart joined police authority chairman Peter Thompson for the ceremony on land next to the existing headquarters during his last day of his 30 year service.
The £14m building is being built at Aykley Heads in Durham City and will make way for a 227-home estate on the plot where the current offices and workshops stand.
Mr Stoddart said: “I know I leave this force in good shape as far as performance is concerned, with crime and disorder continuing to fall and satisfaction with our service running at a very high level.
“I’m also pleased to be leaving it in good shape physically, with the creation of this new, modern building which will be fit for purpose for 21st Century policing.”
The building will save the force £750,000 a year on the running costs compared to its aging existing HQ.
Mr Thompson said: “I see this occasion as one which not only recognises the tremendous and invaluable contribution that Jon has made not only to Durham Constabulary, but also to the region and indeed the national platform.
“It also will be one of the last significant acts of Durham Police Authority prior to its demise next month.”
Planning permission for the new building was granted by Durham County Council earlier this year, and a preferred developer, Kier, has been selected.
It is due to open in the spring of 2014.
designed with the highest ‘green’ credentials to create a modern office environment for up to 450 officers and staff.