Force to move to new HQ between Kettering and Corby
THE headquarters of Northamptonshire Police is to be moved from Northampton to near Corby.
Adam Simmonds, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire, has announced that an agreement has been reached between his office and the Education Funding Agency (EFA) for the sale of part of the Wootton Hall Park site.
Following a public consultation on the future of the site, Commissioner Simmonds will finalise a phased exit plan with Northamptonshire Police. The proposed sale to the EFA will see the site used as a base for the new Wootton Park School in Northampton.
The decision comes shortly after the commissioner formally approved the construction of two new buildings in the north of the county – the Northamptonshire Police Investigation Centre and Northern Accommodation Building, situated just off the A43 next to the A6003 between Kettering and Corby. This followed discussions with Chief Constable Simon Edens.
It is anticipated that building work will be completed by next spring, while the new premises will house approximately 350 staff.
The public consultation on the future of the Wootton Hall site showed that nearly three-quarters of responders agreed a review of the Force’s estate was important in order to make financial savings.
Adam Simmonds, Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Both Chief Constable Edens and I agree the current Northamptonshire Police Headquarters is not fit for purpose and will cost a significant amount to sustain over the next 25 years.
“I know that Northamptonshire Police leaving Wootton Hall Park is an emotive subject for many officers, past and present. However, it is simply not a viable option to remain.
“Moving to new premises will save in excess of £40million over the next 25 years, which will allow us to keep more frontline officers on the streets, keeping Northamptonshire safe.
“There could be no better legacy to Northamptonshire Police’s work at Wootton Hall than to open a new free school on the site with a specialised, policing and public service-focused curriculum.”
Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police, Simon Edens, added: “Policing is changing and is likely to keep changing at a faster pace in the future, and I am not satisfied that all our current buildings, including Wootton Hall, are fit for purpose.
“We need to make sure we have the right type of accommodation, in the right places, to allow us to meet current and future needs, so we can continue to protect people from harm and serve our communities.
“I look forward to seeing the plans that will facilitate our move from the Wootton Hall Park site.”
The Northern Accommodation Hub includes a new custody facility and a three-storey operational and administrative building. Chief Constable Edens added: “This is an exciting development for the Force and it will, in my view, help us better deliver our purpose and serve our communities.
“Plans to facilitate this move are still being developed and I will not get the chance to consider them until near the end of April. The PCC has agreed that these plans need my approval and I am confident I will be able to give that approval at that time.”
MOVABLE FORCE: Chief Constable Simon Edens (above) and the current Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds (right) – who steps down from his role next month when a new PCC is elected.