North Yorkshire Police is set to get a new headquarters as part of a £7million move which will see the force move to Northallerton.
The Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, Julia Mulligan, has approved plans for North Yorkshire Police to purchase Alverton Court offices, the former Rural Payments Agency offices, in Northallerton. If the purchase is successful, the building will replace Newby Wiske Hall as North Yorkshire Police’s headquarters.
This comes ten months after Mrs Mulligan scrapped controversial plans for the force to build a Northern Base’ in the village of South Kilvington, near Thirsk at a cost of an estimated £620,000.
The £18million plans were scrapped as they ‘no longer offered for value for money’, the total cost of the move to Alverton Court is estimated to be under £7million.
Some specialist policing services are set to move to Hemlington on the border of North Yorkshire as part of the PCC’s ongoing collaboration with Cleveland Police.
North Yorkshire Police said it selected the site because it is just six miles from the current HQ, so there will be little impact on the workforce, but it will be cheaper to run in comparison with the Grade II listed 17th century building at Newby Wiske.
Mrs Mulligan, who made an election pledge to relocate from Newby Wiske, said: “I have been committed to getting North Yorkshire Police a modern new Headquarters, and I hope this is the first step to fulfilling that promise. There is some way to go before contracts have been signed, but this is positive news. Newby Wiske costs over £1 million per year to maintain and has big problems with accessibility, facilities and reliable infrastructure. This new Headquarters will be the catalyst to transforming North Yorkshire Police, which includes a £10 million investment in technology which will see officers spending more time in our communities and better protection of our borders from travelling criminals.”
A report on the move states that Alverton Court ‘is only part of the solution’ and other moves would be needed including the previously agreed joint data centre with Cleveland Police, and this is costed as part of the £12.7million budget.
Chief Constable Dave Jones said: “This is a very positive decision. We do have issues with the access and facilities at our current HQ – which is understandable given that it is a Grade II Iisted building – and Alverton Court will provide accommodation that is more in line with our requirements as a modern police service. There is still some way to go before the sale is finalised, but we are hopeful that we will bring it to a conclusion over the summer.”
Once the purchase is finalised, Newby Wiske Hall will be put up for sale, and the force is in discussion with planners at Hambleton District Council about potential uses for the site.