Work to provide front-line policing teams with a fit-for-purpose environment has started, as construction begins on Gwent Police’s new headquarters.
Home to the control room, which is the first point of contact for calls to the force; alongside major crime teams, training functions, support services and senior management, the Llantarnam site is a major step forward in delivering a modern police service to the people of Gwent.
Once complete, the new headquarters will play a key role in ensuring the well-being and training needs of policing staff in Gwent are met, to help them protect and reassure the communities they serve.
Chief Constable Pam Kelly said: “Modern policing is changing, as the nature of the crime we deal with develops. We need to make sure that our facilities support our frontline teams in tackling these challenges.
“We want to provide the very best services to protect the people of Gwent and to do that we need to make the most of technology and cutting edge approaches. Our new headquarters is another step on the way to delivering this.”
The current headquarters in Croesyceiliog is almost 50 years old and needs substantial investment. All viable possibilities for staying at the current site, along with purchasing existing buildings, were assessed, but building a new headquarters in Llantarnam offers the best value for money.
The cost of the build will be about £32million and prudent financial planning over many years means that this will be paid for from a specific reserve fund. The annual running costs of the new headquarters are estimated to be £1.1million less per year than the current costs of running the existing headquarters and associated sites.
The new building will occupy about half the site footprint of the existing headquarters and will provide space for about 480 police officers and staff.
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, said: “The current police headquarters has served us well over the years, but the building is now at an age where it requires expensive maintenance work and its design does not support modern ways of working.
“It’s been a long time coming, but work can now start in earnest on the new headquarters. Once built, I have been reassured that this is the best option for Gwent Police in the future, delivering a fit-for-purpose hub for modern policing.
“The new headquarters is part of the first phase in our ambitious plans laid out in our estate strategy to improve police facilities in Gwent. The Chief Constable and I are committed to delivering a modern and effective policing service that utilises new technology and up-to-date working practices to safeguard and reassure the public.”
BAM Construction in Wales led the design stage of the project and is the main contractor for the new headquarters. Planning permission for the 5,178sqm building was approved last year, and there will be a phased move from the existing headquarters into the new one.
The build is expected to take about two years, with construction complete in autumn 2021.