Gloucestershire’s new custody facility is a significant step closer to completion after the keys were handed over to the county’s police and crime commissioner.

Exterior work on the state-of-the-art complex on the Waterwells Business Park at Quedgeley is now complete.

The final phase includes the installation of IT and other equipment and training of staff. An official opening is pencilled in for January 14th 2015 and the building is scheduled to become operational later that month.

Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl, who made replacing ageing cells in Gloucester and Cheltenham an early priority after the project had stalled under the old police authority, said,

“It’s a building the constabulary can be proud of. “In less than a couple of months we will be able to consign the cells in Gloucester and Cheltenham to the history books, something that should have happened many years ago. “Now we can look forward to the new premises meeting the needs of the constabulary and the wider justice system whilst the contemporary design will fit in well with the environment and the other buildings in the area.”

The PCC began a review of the cost of the project after being asked to approve the custody suite scheme proposed under the old Police Authority on taking office.

After clawing back nearly one and a half million pounds, cutting non-essential work and introducing tighter controls on finances, the project went ahead with the budget capped at £12,429,821. Assistant Chief Constable Sally Crook, said:

 “It’s taken a while, and undoubtedly much longer than we would have liked, but this will be a great addition for the Constabulary. “We can now look forward to getting it up and running and fully operational early in the New Year”.