A new chapter in emergency services history has been opened as Nottinghamshire’s police and fire service staff marked the formal unveiling of a new joint headquarters.
Nottinghamshire Police and Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, which already shared some resources and buildings, agreed to move to a shared headquarters site back in 2018.
Work to construct a new three storey building to help facilitate the venture began in Summer 2020 on the site of the existing police headquaters at Sherwood Lodge in Arnold.
The building, which contains shared office space, a new police-control room, a sports hall, gymnasium and canteen, is the centre-piece of a wider project to improve and expand the old 1970s-built complex.
Other key developments include the addition of a new circular access road and the installation of an outdoor exercise trail for staff.
The site also contains a joint memorial garden dedicated to the memory of staff from both organisations who have died in service.
Senior officers from both services welcomed a small number of guests to the site yesterday (Thursday) afternoon to mark the handover of the new building and the formal adoption of the wider site.
Guests were given a tour of the new complex and also treated to refreshments from Pulp Friction, a Nottinghamshire-based social enterprise that will run the site’s new purpose built café.
Chief Constable Craig Guildford, speaking from the newly completed parade square at the front of the new building said: “This is a really significant day in the history of both organisations and I am delighted with what has been achieved.
“This collaborative project represents a long-term commitment to partnership and joint working between two organisations with proud histories of public service. This is very good news for the public purse, all of our staff and the communities we serve across Nottinghamshire.”
Headquarters staff from Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service will be moving over to the new site gradually until summer 2022.
Chief Fire Officer John Buckley said: “I am thrilled to see the completion of our joint headquarters, after many months of hard work from both organisations.
“We already work closely with Nottinghamshire Police in a number of ways, so this is a fantastic opportunity to share knowledge and resources, and to become more efficient as Services in creating safer communities.”
The building was constructed on time and on budget by lead contractor Henry Brothers limited – a particularly impressive achievement as all the work took place during the pandemic.
Toby Neal, Vice Chair of Nottinghamshire and City of Nottingham Fire and Rescue Authority said “It’s an impressive building with impressive working space, that is going to bring closer working between Nottinghamshire Police and Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service.
“The benefits will be closer working, but also better use of finances and resources. The organisations work closely to protect the public, and that’s the most important thing. Anything that improves their working together is good.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said: “Our HQ is the newest tool in our arsenal as we combat crime across the county and will enable us to deliver 21st Century policing in Nottinghamshire. The unveiling of our new headquarters is also a testament to our partnership working with the fire service, enabling us to better serve the public and save money.”
Managing director of contractor Henry Brothers Midlands, Ian Taylor, said: “We are very pleased to have handed over this new joint headquarters building for Nottinghamshire Police and Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service.
“The Henry Brothers’ team was incredibly proud to have been selected to build this facility for our emergency services – supporting many local jobs on the site and in the wider local supply chain. We are delighted to have completed a project which will play such an important role in supporting the Nottinghamshire community in the future.”