HRH The Earl of Wessex to officially open Merseyside Police’s new headquarters Rose Hill
His Royal Highness, The Earl of Wessex will officially open Merseyside Police’s state-of-the-art new headquarters Rose Hill today.
HRH Prince Edward will be welcomed by Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell and Chief Constable Serena Kennedy as he formally declares the £48m landmark headquarters open.
Merseyside Police’s flagship base Rose Hill brings more than 1,100 officers and police staff together under one roof on a key gateway into the city centre, overlooking Scotland Road and the Kingsway tunnel. The four-storey police centre was handed over on time and within budget in October.
After being greeted by the Commissioner and Chief Constable, HRH accompanied by the High Sheriff, Nigel Lanceley, will be welcomed by a guard of honour including mounted police officers, the Merseyside Police band, and a group of Mini Police Officers.
HRH will then be taken on a tour of the building by the Police Commissioner and Chief Constable, meeting officers and staff and finding out about how the cutting-edge police centre will save the force £250,000 a year on its running costs and learn about the key policing challenges facing the force.
He will meet Merseyside Police’s Chief Officers and senior managers from the PCC’s office, before moving around the building to talk to groups of police officers, staff, and cadets to find out about their work.
Following the tour, the Police Commissioner will invite Prince Edward to unveil a plaque and sign the visitor’s book to mark the occasion.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “In keeping with tradition, I am pleased that His Royal Highness, the Earl of Wessex, is able to give his time to officially open Merseyside Police’s spectacular new headquarters, Rose Hill.
“The opening of this state-of-the-art police base is a major success story for Merseyside Police. It is purpose-built to give officers and staff the facilities they need to meet the challenges of modern policing, serve our communities and fight crime, now and into the future.
“This stunning new flagship headquarters is also built to be as sustainable and energy efficient as possible. That means it will save us £250,000 on the force’s annual running costs – vital funds which can be directed straight into frontline policing.”
Rose Hill now houses Merseyside Police’s Chief Officer team, as well as the teams which assist with Corporate Support and Development, ICT, finance, the corporate assets team and the news and communications team. Since the building was handed over in October, 650 officers and staff have moved over from the existing headquarters on Canning Place, as well as 350 from an office in Brunswick Dock and 100 from Lower Lane Station.
The new headquarters is named after a former police station, Rose Hill Bridewell, that operated on the site from 1849 until August 1977. The site also features a memorial garden dedicated to the officers who have given their lives in public service.
Merseyside Police’s Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said: “Rose Hill is an absolutely amazing building which has been purpose-built to meet the needs of a modern police force dealing with the levels of demand, complexity and challenges that officers and staff face every day.
“Whilst the building is a huge investment it will enable Merseyside Police to make savings in the long term. It will also bring teams together that are currently situated across Merseyside, which will make our working practices more efficient and effective, and the indoor and outdoor facilities will also offer huge benefits for the health and wellbeing of the staff who work and visit there.
“Right from the early stages of planning Rose Hill sustainability, energy efficiency and reducing our carbon footprint have all been key considerations.
“Ultimately relocating our headquarters to Rose Hill means that Merseyside Police can continue to deliver an outstanding quality of service putting the needs of our community first in everything we do.”
Rose Hill was part funded by capital specifically ring-fenced for the Force’s buildings and part borrowed from approved sources, in accordance with the Prudential Code for capital finance. This money to pay for the building was completely separate from, and could not have been diverted to, the funding used to pay for Merseyside Police’s officers and staff.
More than £33m of the money spent on the project was invested through local businesses based within 20 miles of Rose Hill.
The building has been designed to meet the latest standards in energy efficiency, including LED lighting throughout and 260 solar panels on the roof to make sure it is as cheap as possible to run. The site also boasts 500 parking spaces, an external gym, a running track, and an outdoor seating area, while 96 trees have been planted on the grounds.
Construction on the eight-acre site began in September 2019 after Merseyside’s previous Police Commissioner, Jane Kennedy, and former Chief Constable, Andy Cooke QPM, ceremonially turned the first sod at the brownfield site which is adjacent to the force’s existing station on St Anne Street.
Despite the challenges thrown up by Covid-19, Rose Hill was completed in just two years. It is hoped that a large portion of the cost of the new headquarters will be recouped through the sale of Canning Place, which was opened by the Queen, described as ‘the best regeneration opportunity in the entire country’.