£14m Grimsby custody suite could 'welcome first guests' in March 2019

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 29 Jun 2017

GRIMSBY’S Birchin Way is the new site for the proposed £14 million South Bank Custody Facility from Humberside Police.

Scheduled to open by March 2019, with construction anticipated to start in January, it will take over a significant part of the brownfield former brewery distribution site by the A180.

The state-of-the-art facility will sit alongside the recently built Wickes and existing fast food outlets McDonald’s and KFC on the A180 approach to Grimsby town centre. 

Plans will be submitted to North East Lincolnshire Council next month in what looks like a formality as the local authority has assisted with site search, with the partner organisations. 

Lisa King, Humberside Police;  Cllr Ray Oxby, leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, and Mark Tozer, bid manager for Willmott Dixon.

PARTNERHSIP APPROACH: Lisa King, Humberside Police, estates programme manager; Cllr Ray Oxby, leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, and Mark Tozer, bid manager for Willmott Dixon.

Council leader Ray Oxby joined Humberside Police and principal contractor Willmott Dixon at an initial supply chain event today (Thursday, June 29).

He said: “This is an exciting venture, an investment of £14 million in a new building to provide massive improvements in existing facilities in the future, and it builds on our place, a place to visit, live and invest in.

“We want to make sure the value of the project is realised here, with as much engagement as possible with the local supply chain. I am – and we are – committed to the growth of our businesses. We recognise the contribution to our economy is significant. Working with partners, working together, we can achieve great things that pass the test of time.”

The 36-cell facility will be built over two floors, replacing custody suites in Grimsby and Scunthorpe.

Lisa King, estates programme manager for Humberside Police, found herself on familiar territory at Europarc’s Innovation Centre, having been previously part of the council team that delivered the business park.

She said: “We have old facilities. Everyone recognises Grimsby and Scunthorpe police stations were built in the Fifties and Sixties. The custody suites are no longer in the prime of their life, and we are looking to make a better and safer facility for the staff working in there and the detainees who are with us for a short time. 

“We need to meet current Home Office guidance, there is legislation and we would like to be on the right side of that. We will also get fit-for-purpose accommodation for  our staff.”

SHAPING UP: An indicative lay-out, seen looking south west from the Birchin Way roundabout of the A180, with Birchin Way running at 12 o'clock, Wickes to the left, with KFC and McDonald's, together with industrial units on the right.

Mrs King said it would also help new Chief Constable Lee Freeman’s aims of having more bobbies on the beat. “If we can reduce the cost of our estate we can have more people, more police officers keeping the streets safe, which is what everyone wants,” she added.

Explaining how sites from Brigg east were considered, Mrs King – key to delivering Catch at Stallingborough - said: “Why Grimsby? Why Birchin Way? It is on the edge of the town, close to the A180, which was key for us, it is the right size and available to build at the right time. We need to crack on, we need to do this now. We want to develop and work with Willmott Dixon to do that.

“It is a great site, out of the town centre, and one we can get to quickly.” 

For the contractor, it will be the 12th custody facility in the UK, with a public entrance of brick block work, becoming a pre-cast concrete cell arrangement in radial spoke model, with a pre-cast concrete lid. 

Mark Tozer, bid manager for the £1-billion turnover company, told how it was a mixed development. “It is not just a specialist fit-out,” he said, with interested suppliers hearing how it was designed in conjunction with the Home Office. “The ground floor is very specialist in terms of security, but on the first floor it is like any other office accommodation, and all the things that go with that will be required.”

As well as the cells, there will be a reception area, two police team offices and interview and counsel rooms.

A first Grimsby project, Willmott Dixon anticipates expressions of interest in contracting work from September, with spades in the ground in January and a handover to Humberside Police in January 2019.

“I would like to think we will build on this project and have a long-standing relationship in this area, with our partners,” Mr Tozer added, revealing how it will make up more than a quarter of the anticipated turnover of the regional Leeds-based office in 2018. 

“We pride ourselves on long-standing relationships,” he assured 100 delegates, who had heard how the business began with a £1 well-lining project in 1852. “If you are in, and performing, we are in for the long haul.”

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