Morgan Sindall hands over new Merseyside Police Operational Command Centre
Morgan Sindall has successfully delivered Merseyside Police’s new £48 million Operational Command Centre (OCC) on the Estuary Business Park in Speke.
The company marked the completion of work with a special handover ceremony, attended by Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Jane Kennedy, and Chief Constable Andy Cooke, Morgan Sindall area director Barry Roberts, senior contracts manager Paul Heald and representatives from the Morgan Sindall project team and supply chain.
The new three-storey building will house the Serious and Organised Crime Centre and will enable all the teams that make up Merseyside Police’s Matrix and Serious and Organised Crime (MSOC) unit to be brought together under one roof.
The project was procured through the North West Construction Hub framework and will house more than 1,200 officers and support staff from across all the departments which make up the Matrix portfolio. There will also be a separate, single-storey building which will provide administration and support services and further smaller buildings including dog kennels, a fuel station and a gatehouse on Leeward Drive which will control access to the 11.4 acre site. The site will also provide car parking and land for dog exercise and training.
Morgan Sindall has ensured that the site has been a hub of learning and development throughout the construction lifecycle. It’s estimated that 2,500 people primarily drawn from the surrounding region have worked on the project, with over 38 apprentices and graduates from local universities and colleges employed on site during the process.
Barry Roberts, Morgan Sindall area director, said: “It’s exciting to be celebrating the successful completion of this outstanding facility, which will provide a future-fit working environment for these men and women who do such important work across Merseyside. This highly-sustainable centre will deliver huge efficiencies for the Merseyside force and we’re extremely proud to have delivered this challenging scheme on time and on budget.”
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “What a transformation! Less than two years ago, this was a muddy field. Today, we have been able to officially take delivery of the building so that the officers and staff who make up the Matrix units can now start to move into this purpose-built centre.
“These teams lead the fight against the criminal gangs which bring the most fear to our communities and it is only right that they have the equipment and facilities they need to carry out that work as effectively as possible. I’m delighted that, as intended by the Chief Constable, they will now all be under one roof in this new centre which will enable them to work even closer together to prevent and tackle crime now and for years to come.
“The new centre will also save costs by enabling the Force to release a number of small, leased buildings which are scattered across Merseyside and are no longer up to standard. This will reduce Merseyside Police’s annual running costs, ensuring funds can be redirected towards frontline policing.”
“I would like to thank everyone who has worked so hard on this project since 3 November 2015 to turn our plans into reality. I am delighted to see it delivered on time and on budget and I look forward to the official opening of the building once all the teams are in place.”
The centre is an integral part of the Commissioner’s 10-year strategy to transform and modernise Merseyside Police’s station and facilities, while working to reduce the annual running costs of the Force’s buildings by £2.5 million.
It will be part funded by capital specifically set aside for the Force’s buildings and part borrowed from approved sources, in accordance with the Prudential Code for capital finance. This money is completely separate from, and cannot be diverted to, the funding used to pay for Merseyside Police’s officers and staff.
The buildings have been designed to meet the latest standards in energy efficiency, including LED lights throughout and solar panels on the roof to make sure it is cost effective to run. It was assessed by city council planners as “well designed to be interesting architecturally and to preserve and enhance its ecological value in a landscaped setting”.
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