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Operational Command Centre is open for business

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner and Chief Constable have taken delivery of Merseyside Police’s new Operational Command Centre on time and on budget.

Jane Kennedy and Andy Cooke attended a special ceremony at which construction and infrastructure company Morgan Sindall officially handed over the new £48m building on the Estuary Business Park in Speke.

Work will now begin to move all the staff which make up Merseyside Police’s Matrix and Serious and Organised Crime (MSOC) team into the new centre, which is bounded by Speke Hall Avenue and Leeward Drive.

Once all the teams have been migrated, more than 1,200 officers and support staff from across all departments which make up the Matrix portfolio will be housed in the three-storey building. There is also a separate, single-storey building which will provide administration and support services and further smaller buildings including a dog kennels, a fuel station and a gatehouse on Leeward Drive which will control access to the 11.4 acre site.

The centre has been part funded by capital specifically ring-fenced 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 ceremony yesterday saw Morgan Sindall area director Barry Roberts and senior contracts manager Paul Heald officially handover the centre at a ceremony at which the team who have worked on the project were thanked for their efforts.

Jane said: “What a transformation! Less than two years ago, this was a muddy field. Now, 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 3rd 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 police’s buildings by £2.5m.

Chief Constable Andy Cooke QPM said: “Merseyside Police is committed to providing a police service that is fit for the 21st century and that means we need to equip our officers and staff with the necessary facilities and equipment to do the job.

“A number of essential departments will now be able to come together under one roof as one team in the new Operational Command Centre in Speke, which has been made possible through funding specifically ring-fenced for the Force’s buildings, and which will reduce the Force’s overall running costs.

“I am delighted that our staff will now be able to relocate to the new purpose-built centre and continue the excellent work they do to tackle serious and organised crime in Merseyside.”

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