- County council take back majority of building
- No longer need for outdated cells
- Police keep reception area and CCTV dept
- Police presence remains, says Commissioner
It is one of Gloucester’s most recognisable buildings and now its future has been settled following months of negotiations.
The remaining legal transactions completed, the police have surrendered their 230 year lease on Bearland in exchange for £400,000 and a fresh agreement covering part of the ground and second floors.
Under the new terms, the police will retain a public access reception area on the ground floor, CCTV room and parking. As part of the deal, Gloucestershire County Council also agreed to a lease on a number of parking spaces for police officers and staff on the Waterwells Business Park.
Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl said,
“It’s been a long process but this is very good news. It means the police keep a presence in the city centre, which is something I have always advocated, and the public will see no difference.
“The police have what they need and have been able to hand back the rest of the building which was built in the 1960s and had become an unwanted drain at a time when resources are already stretched.
“The cells were outdated and have been replaced by the new custody facility at Quedgeley. Officers and staff have been re-located to other buildings which provide a more suitable working environment.
“It also means the Police and county and city councils to plan for the future and hopefully make progress with the Blackfriars Development.”