New £18m police station to open its doors

The new �18m police station in Harrogate will open its doors to the public next week. (S)

The new �18m police station in Harrogate will open its doors to the public next week. (S)

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A BRAND new state-of-the-art police station is to open its doors to the public in Harrogate.

The new building at Beckwith Knowle has taken just over a year to build and has cost £18m - that’s £2.8 under budget.

It will open its doors to the public next Wednesday for tours of the site - including a major incident command centre and a 16-cell custody “suite”.

Chief Constable Grahame Maxwell, said: “The open day will provide a one-off opportunity to see inside our new, state-of-the-art police station, which is one of the most modern in the country.

“The station has been built to serve the communities of Harrogate and the surrounding area and we would like to offer local people the opportunity to come and see inside before it becomes operational.”

The new police station has been the source of much debate in Harrogate in recent years.

Senior officers had branded the town centre’s traditional 1930 station, on North Park Road, “Dickensian” and “crumbling” and said the building must be sold.

Opponents to the move said it was “too far” to travel to the Beckwith Knowle and in response to their concerns, Chief Constable Maxwell promised that a town centre base would open before the old one closed.

Last week saw the fulfilment of this promise with the opening of a smaller central police station on Victoria Avenue.

Members of the public are now invited to Beckwith Knowle to take a tour of the new building, including interview and fingerprint rooms, general offices and a briefing room.

Guided tour, taking up to 20 minutes, will include the 16-cell “custody suite” as well as a major incident command room.

The police station will become operational on May 17, open 24-hours a day with front-counter services from 8am to midnight.

Key facts about the new station

- Cost of new building is £18m, £2.8m under original budget

- New town centre police station is now operational to maintain presence in the town

- 16-cell custody block built to Home Office standards

- Police memorial garden has been incorporated into the grounds

- The building is set to achieve an excellent rating under the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM)

- Air source heat pumps are installed, and photovoltaic panels will generate power to make the building as sustainable as possible

- Levels of CO2 emissions from the build were monitored during construction

- A park and ride service was put in place for contractors working on the site

- 20,000 cubic metres of soil removed from the site was reused on the site

- The sub-soil was used on a nearby site

- Excavated rock was crushed and used as aggregate

- The constructors scored an excellent 37 out of 40 under the Considerate Constructors Scheme

- The contractors have donated waste metal and timber to Harrogate charity Horticap and provided building expertise to help with the construction of a new workshop facility

- Horticap used the waste materials to raise funds

- Leaves from the site were given to the charity to turn into mulch to sell