New Cleveland Police HQ given go-ahead

Barry Coppinger in Murrsy Street
Barry Coppinger in Murrsy Street

CLEVELAND Police are set to move into new headquarters with the creation of a Community Safety Hub.

The proposals to replace the ageing 1970s police HQ in Ladgate Lane Middlesbrough have been given the green light by the region’s Police and Crime Commissioner.

The new 5,000 square foot Community Hub will be located at Hemlington Grange in Middlesbrough and could see it sharing some services with the neighbouring North Yorkshire force.

It is due to open in 2016 and is expected to boost the local economy by creating jobs and save Cleveland Police more than £200,000 a year.

The building will be funded by the sale of the current Ladgate Lane site, with advanced negotiations taking place to complete the deal over the next few months.

Mr Coppinger said: “A Community Safety Hub is a major boost for the area and will provide a cost-effective and viable base for policing in the future.

“As we look to strengthen and add to our current collaborative projects, locally and regionally, I felt it important that the building could be used as a base for other emergency services, partners, and was accessible to members of the public.

“The Community Safety Hub is part of our estates strategy and financial plan, which was recently praised by the independent police inspectorate, HMIC.

“I’m keen to stress that frontline policing budgets will not be affected by the build and we remain committed to a model where neighbourhood policing is at the forefront.”

The current Ladgate Lane headquarters was built in the 1970s and is said to be no longer fit for purpose, costing the force around £1 million a year to run.

It says building a new base is more cost-effective and will be greener for the environment.

Chief Constable Jacqui Cheer added: “I’m pleased that we are able to support our staff and the local community with a new state of the art facility which will enable us to meet the needs of policing in the future.

“Even in challenging times, it’s important that we invest in new technology and infrastructure so that we can achieve savings and deliver a better service in the longer term.”

The decision comes as North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan called a halt to plans for a new headquarters at South Kilvington near Thirsk.

Mr Coppinger added: “I have always expressed a desire to open up our new Community Safety Hub to partners who want to share accommodation and we are currently in discussions with North Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan and Chief Constable Dave Jones around co-location of some services.

“It is also our intention to look at developing collaborative options for the provision of some operational policing services, which will potentially enhance borderless policing along the Cleveland/North Yorkshire border.

“The potential sharing of premises will open up new opportunities, however I am keen to stress that our current partnership arrangements and collaboration projects will not be affected.”