North Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has insisted that £10 million will be saved as a move of the force’s headquarters got under way after years of planning.
Julia Mulligan yesterday said that the new facility at Alverton Court in Northallerton will allow North Yorkshire Police to work more efficiently and enable practice which is fit for the future.
A phased introduction of staff now started with the full transfer due to be finished by autumn this year.
In 2014 Mrs Mulligan scrapped estimated £18m plans for a purpose-built northern base and replaced them with proposals for Alverton Court, the former Rural Payments building, a project which she said has cost more than £7 million.
She said yesterday: “Over the next few years we will see a £10 million pound financial saving.”
Mrs Mulligan said that the new building allows staff to work together better, highlighting the digital forensics unit as an example.
“The teams were divided into three separate buildings. Now they can share information and the work that they do. It’s creating a lot of opportunities. They can do their jobs better.”
Alverton Court is much smaller than Newby Wiske Hall, Mrs Mulligan said, adding that an “agile workforce” would be operating there, with eight desks to every 10 workers.
The facility, which has space for around 500 staff members, also includes a public meeting area with rooms for community groups and a café run by a charity for people with learning difficulties and support needs, which anyone can use.
Alverton Court also has a garden, which features memorial stones transferred from North Yorkshire Police’s old headquarters.
Grade II listed Newby Wiske Hall, which has been the base for North Yorkshire Police for nearly 40 years, is to become an outdoor education centre after being sold to Peter Gordon Lawrence (PGL) Travel.
Conservative Mrs Mulligan, who was first elected to her role in 2012, said: “It had very extensive grounds and was expensive to maintain.”