The headquarters of Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service will be moved out of Northampton and set up in Kettering from next year, it has been revealed.
Wootton Hall was sold off by the previous Police and Crime Commissioner, Adam Simmonds. Today, his successor, Stephen Mold has confirmed that the new HQ will be set up 15 miles away in Cherry Hall Road.
The Kettering site is already home to the new Northern Accommodation Hub, Police Investigation Centre and the Learning and Development Centre.
Mr Mold also revealed today that the site will be a joint-headquarters with the fire service.
It was not stated how many staff were affected by the move, nor whether there were any job losses as a result. An approach has been made by this newspaper to the police and fire service for clarification.
The buildings on Cherry Hall Road will be complete by summer next year and the first phase of staff to be moving out of Wootton Hall are due to move later in the year.
Mr Mold said he had inherited the issue of where the police force operated from on his day of office.
“Having reviewed the developing Service Delivery Model for the Force, it is clear to me that as it stands, the most suitable location for our new headquarters is that of the new buildings in Kettering.
“The police estate has suffered from years of under-investment which means that many buildings - including Wootton Hall - are inefficient and expensive to maintain. It is, therefore, vital to equip our workforce with new facilities that will better serve the public, both from an operational and efficiency perspective. In the new facilities in Kettering, we have this.
Simon Edens, Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police, said the move would not result in any disruption to the services provided by the force.
"I would like to reassure everyone that no matter where our headquarters is, we are committed to protecting people across the county from harm.
“The building of the new facilities in Kettering is driven by operational demands and will ensure that Northamptonshire Police’s estate is fit for 21st century policing, which will enable us to be more efficient and more effective. "
The move would benefit the closer working between the fire service and the police, chief fire officer Darren Dovery said.
"Sharing a headquarters fits perfectly with the joint estates strategy we are developing with the Police and Ambulance service, where we attempt to rationalise our estates while providing first class modern facilities for our staff to work.”