Former North Yorkshire Police headquarters to become children's activity centre after controversial £2.5m sale finally concludes

North Yorkshire Police’s old headquarters near Thirsk will become a children’s outdoor activity centre after its four-year sale was finally wrapped up this week.

Former North Yorkshire Police headquarters Newby Wiske Hall have finally been sold and will become a children's activity centre

The sale at Newby Wiske Hall was completed on Wednesday after the former headquarters were purchased for £2.5m.

Outdoor pursuits company PGL agreed to buy the 17th-Century manor house in 2017 after the force moved its headquarters to Alverton Court, Northallerton.

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The sale was not without controversy, after it emerged that more than £750,000 of the £2.5m agreed price had been spent on maintenance.

Former North Yorkshire Police headquarters Newby Wiske Hall have finally been sold and will become a children's activity centre

In May 2020, buyers PGL agreed to take on maintenance costs, paying £24,000 a month.

A spokesman for current Police, Crime and Fire Commissioner Philip Allott said “a number of challenges” which were “beyond the control of the Comissioner” had delayed the sale, such as judicial reviews, revised planning decisions and other legal issues.

“Now these processes have concluded, the sale has completed and the balance of the agreed price will be paid,” the spokesman said.

Following news of the sale’s conclusion, Conservative Commissioner Mr Allott said: “Moving North Yorkshire Police from a historic building to a modern headquarters was the right decision which has helped transform the way the force works, allowed us to bring more services together in one place and, ultimately, has improved the service to our communities.

Former North Yorkshire Police headquarters Newby Wiske Hall have finally been sold and will become a children's activity centre

"It has also saved a substantial amount of taxpayers’ money, despite the delays. With £1.1m now being saved every year, that money has been able to go towards the priorities we all expect from our emergency services – keeping us safe and feeling safe at a time when resources are under increasing pressure.

“It has taken much longer than anyone hoped for the sale of Newby Wiske Hall to complete and I thank the community for their patience during what I know has been a challenging time.

"I wish PGL well for the future and hope that the young people, who will have the opportunity to learn and grow within the Hall and its grounds, come to love North Yorkshire just as much as we do.”

PGL provides residential trips, camping experiences and outdoor activities such as kayaking and orienteering for school-age children.