Company adding to its tally of projects across country to deliver blue-light facilities

Willmott Dixon is increasing its track-record in building modern accommodation for police forces across the country after being chosen to deliver a new £18 million custody suite for Bedfordshire Police.

Procured through Major Works England and Northern Ireland, part of the Scape National Construction framework, the new facility will include a 22-cell custody block, offices for police and staff, as well as parking and associated external works. Located at their Kempston headquarters, the new custody suite will replace a temporary variant and is the first major building commissioned at the site since 2005.

Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holoway, said, “Since the old Greyfriars station in Bedford closed down because its custody suite was not fit for purpose, its replacement has been being planned. This has been a priority for me and I’m absolutely delighted to get this build underway on my watch. This is essential as our detention staff and officers deserve to have the best working environment we can provide and we need to remember that those in police custody have not yet gone before a court and are innocent until proven guilty.”

Chris Tredget, managing director of Willmott Dixon in London and the East:

“We are delighted to build on our strong pedigree in the blue light sector to deliver a new state of the art custody suite for Bedfordshire Police. Having built similar facilities in the region, we are collaborating closely Bedfordshire Police to ensure that the facility will meet all of their requirements and needs, providing a state-of-the-art building and better environment for all.”

Mark Robinson, Scape Group chief executive, said: “Ensuring continued investment in our police services is vital to help support communities right across the UK. As the government aims to reach its target of recruiting 20,000 new officers by 2022, projects like this will go a long way to support the additional resources required.

“This new facility will enable Bedfordshire Police to build upon its existing ability to deliver efficient and effective local services. I have no doubt that the completed facility will reflect the high-quality work Willmott Dixon is delivered for police forces across the UK. We take great pride in performance managing projects like this through our framework and I look forward to seeing the array of community benefits it will bring.”

Willmott Dixon’s experience of building facilities for the emergency services includes recently handing over a custody centre and operational hub in Exeter for Devon and Cornwall Constabulary and a combined campus for Lincolnshire Fire, Police and Ambulance services. Projects currently being built include the delivery of a £20m control centre in Hull for Humberside Police and the £37m new headquarters for Merseyside Police in Liverpool.