The new base will be used by Lancashire Police to house Chorley’s response and neighbourhood policing teams, the area’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and other specialist teams including one of the newly launched Rape and Sexual Offences Teams.
It is also intended to be used as a new training campus for the Constabulary as part of the ongoing major recruitment drives into policing – but also as a major investment into the Commissioner and Chief Constable’s vision for Lancashire to be an internationally-excellent training force, delivering first-class police officers to keep our county safe.
The acquisition and subsequent development of the building marks a significant investment into policing in Chorley and South Lancashire ensuring a physical policing base for the future. It forms part of the Commissioner’s wider plans for investment in critical police infrastructure to ensure that Lancashire Police has an efficient, effective and agile estate.
The new base is well placed for servicing the whole of Chorley, located on a key part of the strategic road network and the Commissioner is working directly with Chorley Council to secure a shared, central physical presence for the town centre policing team to use to build on recent months of hard work to tackle anti-social behaviour.
This investment is also good economic news for the area, complimenting the training industry, and supporting employment as Lancashire Police will be employing around 300 people in Chorley, plus hundreds of training officers on rotation into the site.
The Commissioner said: “I’m delighted to announce the acquisition of the Runshaw College site to invest in a new policing base for the Chorley area and as part of a wider investment in training and development infrastructure for the force.
“The current station no longer meets operational requirements and is in an increasingly poor condition, meaning it is not fit for purpose for a modern, agile, digitally-enabled crime fighting force.
“I am passionate that every borough area should have a dedicated police station – as I know the vast majority of residents want – but to do that comes at the cost of renewing and replacing police stations as they come to the end of their shelf life.
“Following my campaign to end degree only entry into policing, the Home Secretary has recently announced that other entry routes will reopen, a decision both I and the Chief Constable welcome wholeheartedly.
“So not only will the new site serve existing teams, it will also allow us to meet immediate training requirements for new officers joining the re-opened non-degree entry routes, but also make sure Lancashire can train and develop the best officers for our County into the future.
“This will not affect the number of officers deployed to the town centre and we are working closely with Chorley Council to ensure that we also maintain a physical town centre presence, possibly through shared space.
Lancashire Constabulary Chief Constable Chris Rowley added: “I really welcome this development and the Police and Crime Commissioner’s support. Our current police station is no longer fit for purpose and the project, once complete, will give my officers and staff the best possible facilities to deliver outstanding policing services for the people of Chorley and surrounding areas.
“It will also provide a dedicated, modern campus to train our future officers and equip them with the skills they need to fight crime, support victims and keep our communities across Lancashire safe.”
Councillor Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council, said: “It’s really pleasing to see Lancashire Constabulary investing in our borough and is another show of confidence in our great transport links and skilled workforce.
“Having such a facility located in Chorley will I’m sure help improve response times for residents, and I look forward to working with the constabulary on their plans for the current police station in Chorley town centre.”
Runshaw College Principal & CEO, Clare Russell, said: “Runshaw has been delivering courses for adults and apprentices from the Euxton Lane campus for around 20 years, but in February announced plans to move to a single campus at Langdale Road, Leyland.
“Selling the Euxton Lane campus means that we can invest the proceeds in refurbishment and development projects at the Langdale Road campus, to further improve our facilities and resource them with industry-standard equipment and technology.
“We are pleased that the Euxton Lane building will continue to be used to serve our community, by Lancashire Constabulary.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden is pictured with Clare Russell, Principal and Chief Executive at Runshaw College and Janet Ivill, Vice Principal for Finance and Facilities at Runshaw College