A landmark move to merge Derbyshire Constabulary and Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service into one headquarters has been given the go-ahead by Crime Commissioner Alan Charles.
The £7million plan will see both police and fire headquarters based in a new building at the current cop base in Ripley.
The decision announced on Thursday, December 4, comes after 12 months of negotiations between both organisations.
At the meeting held at the current police headquarters at Butterley Hall, Commissioner Charles said: “After many months of hard work and negotiations on both sides, I am delighted that this purppose-built building is on its way to becoming a reality.
“We really had to do something radical as two of our existing police buildings at the HQ at Ripley are coming to the end of their useful life.
“Sharing headquarters with the Fire and Rescue Service in this way will allow both our organisations to adapt more easily to change and improve our ways of working, including making best use of technological advancements that are so important to efficiency. At the same time, we will be able to work more closely together – a significant advantage in many emergency situations as well as being of benefit to Derbyshire tax payers.” Both emergency organisations have said their HQs are currently housed in old, ‘fragmented’ buildings that are no longer efficient due to the cost of heating and lighting.
Mr Charles said police would pay for their half of the facilities from £2m in ‘capital reserves’ and the projected sale of a patch of land the force owns near to the Sainsbury’s superstore at Butterley.
Chairman of Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Authority Councillor Roland Hosker said: “This joint project will see the delivery of a modern, bespoke joint headquarters that will enable greater collaboration between our two organisations to improve efficiency. The sale of our existing headquarters site at Littleover, Derby, will go a long way to funding our share of the project.”
Chief Constable Mick Creedon added: “I fully support the decision made by the Commissioner. It will enable us to forge closer links with the fire service to the benefit of people across Derbyshire. We know this is a massive investment but one that is needed.”
Our prudent planning has enabled us to set aside money that will meet a large share of the costs of the new building.