Merseyside’s Police Commissioner and Chief Constable have visited the site of a major new base for Merseyside Police to see how work is progressing.
Jane Kennedy and Andy Cooke QPM took a tour of Merseyside Police’s new Vehicle Fleet and Operational Policing Hub on Edge Lane, which will provide a base for approximately 706 police staff once completed in November this year.
The purpose-built police centre will ensure teams who are currently scattered across a number of stations across Liverpool will be able to work together under one roof, increasing efficiency and effectiveness. This includes the emergency incident response unit, targeted policing teams and the crime demand teams. The base, which will house the Force’s vehicle repair centre, will also form an integral part of the wider regeneration of the Edge Lane gateway into Liverpool city centre.
The centre is part of the Commissioner’s drive to put more money into frontline policing by selling old, out-dated and inefficient buildings and replacing with more cost-effective, flexible and fit for purpose facilities. The money for the project is completely separate from, and cannot be diverted to, the funding used to pay for Merseyside Police’s officers and staff.
The visit by the Commissioner and Chief Constable follows on from a previous ‘beam-signing’ ceremony held in February when the final piece of steel was installed at the Edge Lane site by construction company Willmott Dixon. Since then, much of the work to complete the interior structures has been completed and the Commissioner and Chief Constable were able to take a guided tour through the interior of the building.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “It’s fantastic to see for myself the progress which is being made on this major new base for Merseyside Police. Just 10 months ago this was an empty site. Now the structure is virtually complete, on time and on budget, and in just a few months Merseyside Police officers and staff should be able to start moving in to take advantage of this modern, fit-for-purpose, new centre.
“It is vital that the men and women who work around the clock to keep us all safe have the right facilities and a suitable working environment to fight crime now and in the future. I’m working hard to deliver that, while ensuring our buildings are more efficient, flexible and cost effective in order to save money for the frontline.
“We opened the Force’s new Operational Command Centre in Speke last year for the same purpose and we are already seeing the benefits. Teams are able to work closer together and resources can be put in place much quicker to ensure the most robust response when incidents occur. The completion of the Edge Lane centre is the next step in my 10 year plan to ensure Merseyside Police is equipped and in the right locations to serve our communities.”
“I have worked for many years to encourage investment and growth in the Old Swan area and I’m so pleased to see Merseyside Police playing a major role in helping to regenerate this part of the city for the benefit of the whole community.”
Merseyside Police’s Chief Constable Andy Cooke said: “We’re only five months away from the Edge Lane centre becoming operational and it has been fantastic to be able to see how much of the building has been completed.
“Officers and staff will benefit greatly from being able to work from this purpose built building, which will bring a number of teams together and enable us to provide a swifter response to incidents in our communities. I’m sure that when officers and staff move in to the building they will see the operational benefits immediately.”
The project has been part funded by capital specifically set aside for the Force’s buildings and part borrowed from approved sources, in accordance with the Prudential Code for capital finance.
Construction on the purpose-built two-storey centre began in August 2018, with the police base taking up approximately half the 20 acre site, while some of the nine acres fronting Prescot Road will be used by Liverpool City Council to rebuild St Cuthbert’s Catholic Primary School.
This site previously housed the Fruit, Vegetable and Flower market which was relocated to brand new facilities on Electric Avenue, off the East Lancashire Road, in January and has now been renamed the Food Hub.