Merseyside’s Police Commissioner and Chief Constable will be joined by the leader of Wirral Council to officially get work underway today to bring Bebington Police Station back into use.
Jane Kennedy, Andy Cooke and Cllr Phil Davies will visit the station on Civic Way, Bebington, to ceremonially turn the first sod and begin a five-month project to transform and modernise the station so it can become a working police station once again.
The station, which has been completely closed and empty since 3rd November 2013, will undergo an extensive refurbishment to bring it back into use by the Force. Once completed, the station will house 74 police officers, Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and Special Constables and have a room to allow officers to meet with members of the public on an appointment basis.
The project will also see a new car park and lift installed, new power, data, heating and ventilation systems put in place and landscaping carried out around the building. Structural alterations will also be carried out inside to ensure the station is fit for purpose with existing partitions being removed to provide a more open-plan working space.
The refurbished station is an integral part of the Commissioner’s 10-year strategy to modernise Merseyside Police’s buildings and facilities, while working to reduce the annual running costs of the estate by an estimated £2.5m.
As the first major refurbishment under the Commissioner’s plan, Bebington Police Station will set the benchmark for future projects.
Jane said: “I’m pleased that we are now at a stage when work can officially get underway to modernise and update Bebington Police Station.
“This major refurbishment project is going to bring this police station back into use for the benefit of both the Force and the community. This investment in our police stations demonstrates my commitment to providing the most affordable buildings for Merseyside Police’s officers and staff to help ensure they can serve the public as effectively and efficiently as possible.
“We need stations which are modern and fit for the purpose of policing in the 21st century. This project will not only provide a benchmark for all future refurbishments, it will also ensure Bebington Police Station is an asset to local people and to the wider community for years to come.”
The renovations will be part funded by earmarked capital reserves specifically set aside for the estate strategy and external loans from approved sources, in accordance with the Prudential Code for capital finance. This money is completely separate from, and cannot be diverted to, the funding used to pay for Merseyside Police’s officers and staff.
Chief Constable Andy Cooke said: “I am delighted that work is about to get underway to refurbish Bebington Police Station. The public tell us that they want to see Merseyside Police at the centre of their communities and this will assist us in ensuring officers are able to achieve this.
“The work to the station, which closed in November 2013, will also provide our officers with a modern facility which will suit their needs and allow them to serve the public in Wirral and also utilise the consultancy room to meet them in person.”
Wirral Council leader, Cllr Phil Davies, said: “This is tremendous news for Wirral residents. Working in partnership with Merseyside Police and other agencies, we have made a pledge to local residents to keep neighbourhoods safe and help people feel safer in their home and community. This investment in Bebington will certainly help towards that.”
Contractor Wates Smartspace have been appointed through a competitive tendering process using the Northwest Construction Hub to act as the principal contractor.
On June 27th, they hosted a ‘Meet the Buyer’ event, attended by the Commissioner, Merseyside Police’s project team and representatives from the Council to meet potential suppliers, local businesses and members of the community to talk about the project and answer any of their questions. Wates Smartspace have also made a commitment to ensure local people are employed throughout the length of the project.