Derbyshire Constabulary and Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service are working together to look at the possibility of a new, shared headquarters. Plans for the new HQ, which are at an early stage, would be subject to planning permission and would be built on the current police headquarters site in Ripley.
Design consultants are currently working with both organisations to develop a detailed plan for a cost effective and sustainable building fit for modern policing and fire and rescue service provision. Both organisations currently have old HQ buildings that are fragmented, and have increasing maintenance and heating costs that are no longer suitable for cost-effective and collaborative working.
The joint venture could bring mutual benefits including sharing construction and maintenance costs.
Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Charles said, “One of our buildings is a concrete structure that is rapidly reaching the end of its life span. It is in poor condition and could require a high level of remedial work in the near future if it is not to become a dangerous structure that is not even fit for purpose.
“We have looked at all the options from repair and refurbishment to new build and it is clear that over the lifetime of the building the new build represents best value for the taxpayer. At the same time we are seeking to undertake a collaborative building project with the fire and rescue service, which will reduce costs still further.
“Importantly, we are able to fund this from our capital reserve for such projects and it will not impact negatively on our current resources for frontline policing.”
Terry Neaves, Director of Finance for Derbyshire Constabulary, said, “Even in these tough times it is prudent to invest to achieve savings for the future to enable us to deliver the best possible service for the people of Derbyshire. We have planned for the need to replace buildings and intend that the majority of the cost of the new building will be met by money we have saved from our budget in previous years and should not add any further strain to our current budget.
“By sharing the new building with our colleagues in Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service it will allow us to share the costs of construction and maintenance. We will also benefit from being able to work more closely with them.”
Joy Smith, Deputy Chief Executive, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, said, “A joint headquarters would enable improvement opportunities identified around support services within our recent consultation document ‘Transforming Service Delivery for 2022 and Beyond’. Furthermore, it would assist in fostering further close working with our colleagues in the police, which was a recommendation that featured in the recent consultation feedback from our communities.
“The cost of our share of the new headquarters would be primarily met through the sale of our current HQ site, along with sourcing of government transformation grants for such joint blue light initiatives where possible and use of ‘one-off’ funds already saved from the budget in previous years to enable investment in the future of the service.”