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Plans to relocate North Yorkshire force headquarters
NORTH Yorkshire Police’s headquarters could move to Thirsk under new proposals.
Julia Mulligan, the county’s police and crime commissioner, has announced plans to relocate the force’s HQ and 450 police staff from the village of Newby Wiske, near Northallerton.
Funding of £150,000 has been approved by Mrs Mulligan to progress and evaluate the plans for a new “northern base” which would see new headquarters alongside a new custody suite for the Northallerton area. She said current facilities at Northallerton police station are not fit for the job.
The overall cost and exact location of the proposed site is not yet known.
Mrs Mulligan said: “Newby Wiske will be costing North Yorkshire taxpayers over £1 million per year to maintain over the next 17 years.
“There are also frequent problems with the power supply and accessibility, not to mention other issues that come with maintaining a Grade II listed building.
“These proposals are about improving the service we can offer the public of North Yorkshire – prioritising bobbies over buildings.”
She said an initial review concluded combining new custody facilities for the north of the county with a new HQ could improve services and save money in the longer term.
She said no decision would be made until a full evaluation had been completed and vowed to keep officers and staff informed of progress.
The report recommends Thirsk due to its central location and transport links. It notes that the cost of having a local police station or office in Northallerton could be offset by the closure of the police station in Thirsk town centre if the new HQ was close enough to the town centre.
Many considerations have to be made, including the disposal of Northallerton police station and Newby Wiske HQ, the decision notice states. The £150,000 evaluation and analysis - which will be carried out over the next three to four months - will seek to identify possible sites, begin design and work out building requirements.
It will consider the future needs of the organisation, alongside the commercial, financial and economic implications of the proposals, a spokesman for Mrs Mulligan said.