The sale of several empty and redundant former police buildings will make significant year-on-year savings and bring a cash receipt that will be used to support the modernisation of the police estate to make it fit for the future.
The buildings being sold were all closed in 2017 as part of a review that aimed to create an estate that is both affordable and meets the demands of policing in the 21stcentury.
Buildings that are now operationally deemed as surplus – either because they are in the wrong location to meet police needs or are expensive to maintain and run – were closed and the freehold properties are now being sold.
Instead, the estate is being refocused so that it provides the type of accommodation needed by Northamptonshire Police and is affordable today and in the future. That accommodation is being provided in a number of different ways so that it is as cost effective as possible.
- The Police and Crime Commissioner has invested in modern, efficient buildings such as the Northern Accommodation Block beside the A43 near Kettering
- Collaboration with local authorities has ensured that police have retained an enquiry desk for people who prefer to visit face-to-face rather than call or go online when they need to contact police. There are shared enquiry desk facilities in the heart Kettering, Corby and Northampton, where police desks are co-located with council services
- Fire stations are being shared with Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, such as at Thrapston, Mereway and Rushden, which enables further savings and supports joint working. The transfer of governance of the Fire Service to the Police and Crime Commissioner will bring further opportunities to share enabling services and make savings that can be focussed on frontline services
Investment in new technology is also allowing police officers and PCSOs to remain out in the community and providing a visible presence, with mobile access to information allowing them to carry out more tasks without the need to return to a building to work.
Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said that he had an obligation to make sure that the police estate not only provides value for money, but also meets the needs of the Force and the community now and in the future.
The empty buildings that are for sale or under offer are:
- Kettering police station
- Corby police station
- Rushden police station and two associated three-bedroomed houses
- Earls Barton Police house
Selling these buildings will also make an annual and recurring saving of £0.25 million, as well as an anticipated £3 million total capital receipt from the sales. This will be reinvested in buildings that meet the needs of the community and the police now and in the future.
The flats at Mereway, which had been used as police office buildings for many years, are sold subject to contract and are currently being demolished by the new owner.
The portfolio of buildings owned by Northamptonshire Police continues to be reviewed as the strategy of modernisation, collaboration and increasing use of technology is put into place.
Stephen Mold, Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said:
“It is our police officers and staff who keep Northamptonshire safe, not our buildings.
“I want to make sure that Northamptonshire Police buildings are in the right locations to meet the needs of our communities. They also need to be efficient, modern workplaces that give us the very best value for money. To reach that goal we will sell redundant buildings that no longer work well for us and reinvest that money in a way that gives us an estate for today and tomorrow.
“The Force will also continue to work smarter and collaborate with partners as we prioritise frontline policing services and our commitment to local policing.”
Assistant Chief Constable James Andronov added:
“The Force supports the sale of these buildings, which no longer meet our needs in providing a modern and effective policing service.
“It is important our buildings are fit for purpose and in the right locations, to help us protect the public with the resources we have.
“By working with our partners, we are able to use our buildings more effectively together. This has enabled us to retain a town centre presence, with locally-based neighbourhood teams and conveniently located public enquiry desks. Where we have done this in Northampton, Kettering and more recently in Corby, we have seen closer partnership working and greater engagement with the public.
“We continue to work closely with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner in the ongoing development and review of the estates strategy, to ensure it meets the current and future needs of the force and our communities.”