A site has been found for Huddersfield’s new police headquarters – and it could be open by the end of 2024.
West Yorkshire Police have confirmed a deal for the vacant former Nissan and Fiat dealership site off Broadway, opposite Tesco, in Huddersfield town centre.
A major investment will also see a new police station built in Dewsbury.
Public consultation has started on the Dewsbury plan – for the former Kirklees College buildings in Halifax Road, Dewsbury – and consultation for Huddersfield will be held later this year. No images have yet been published for what the Huddersfield Police Station may look like.
The new Huddersfield station will provide a base for over 200 police officers and staff. These officers and staff make up the Huddersfield South Patrol and Neighbourhood Police Teams which currently work out of Castlegate.
The existing police stations will continue until the new ones are completed and the sites will then be sold off. Both new stations should be operational before the end of 2024.
Chief Superintendent Julie Sykes, district commander of Kirklees Police, said: “Extensive work has been underway for several years now to replace existing police buildings in Dewsbury and Huddersfield, both of which currently have operational limitations.
“The buildings are reaching the end of their operational and economic lives and would be equally, if not more, expensive to rebuild than they would be to replace.
“The announcement of this significant investment for policing in Kirklees is fantastic news for the district and will provide us with state-of-the-art new stations which will be based at the heart of communities.
“Our neighbourhood policing teams in particular are already firmly embedded in the communities they serve and will remain there, providing a visible presence and regular contact opportunities at locally accessible locations.”
She added: “Both sites were very carefully chosen after years of planning work, and we feel they offer the best locations available to us in terms of size, accessibility for residents, and also providing good access to the road network.
“What this investment will do is allow us to retain all the services we currently offer but develop them further, while bringing fresh investment into both towns.”
West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson said: “This is the culmination of many years and months of hard work with a determination to find the best possible options for the people of Kirklees, which will see the development of much needed modern-day policing facilities rooted at the very core of our communities in both Huddersfield and Dewsbury.
“The position we have now arrived at is one that will ensure a bright future, with buildings that will allow us to easily adapt to the changing needs of our communities, as well as police officers and staff.
“Not only will the construction sites be ideally located within the district’s infrastructure, but they will also lend themselves to future technological and operational advancements as the demands of modern policing evolve.
“It isn’t feasible to attempt to maintain or update the current buildings on these constrained sites that would no longer meet modern day policing requirements, and came with significant additional running costs.
“With the latest design and structural techniques, comes greater overall efficiencies and longer-term savings that will ultimately bring Kirklees District Police estates more into line with the other districts throughout West Yorkshire where estates modernisation has taken place.
“If planning approval is gained this will be a real step forward for many years to come for policing within Kirklees and West Yorkshire as a whole.”
The leader of Kirklees Council, Clr Shabir Pandor, said: “I welcome the police’s plan to make such a major investment in both North and South Kirklees.
“The service needs state of the art equipment and facilities to keep our communities safe so it’s great news that they are planning to make these improvements which will benefit residents across the borough.
“The details will be subject to all the proper planning procedures but their commitment to our area is something we can all get behind.”