Hard hats and hi-viz jackets are the dress code as work begins transforming part of the former nuclear power station site at Berkeley Green into a new training academy for Gloucestershire Constabulary.
Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Martin Surl acquired a 150-year lease rent-free for £600,000 from the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency in June and contractors Willmott-Dixon have now started stripping out the two-storey building in readiness for the next stage of development.
It is hoped the 3,000 square metre complex with meeting rooms, a canteen, parade ground, limited use of the sports hall and parking for around 250 cars will be ready early in the new year and fully operational in time for the next intake of trainees, the first of the Prime Minister’s promise of 20,000 new officers for the UK.
Construction Manager Paul Rice, pictured above left, said, ” We moved-in on the 16th September and we’re now ripping out existing ceilings and walls to get the building back to a blank canvas. We can the, in about four or five weeks time, think about putting the new partitions in”.Mr. Surl said, “This will be our training facility for Gloucestershire Constabulary and the other emergency services if they want to use it.
“It will cost around £6m to refurbish but we’ve been talking about it today and estimate that when it’s finished, it would cost more than £9m to buy something as good and in such a spectacular location.
“The Prime Minister’s announcement makes it a timely investment which also provides us with an exciting opportunity to utilise local talent and contacts that will help us develop our own centre of excellence that will provide the Constabulary with some of the very best training facilities in the country”.
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