PLANS for a new £7m community civic centre have been announced by the Police and Crime Commissioner and Tidworth Town Council.

The centre will provide a space for the police and well as the town council.

The police and crime commission for Wiltshire and Swindon, Angus Macpherson reviewed and assessed Wiltshire Police's sites and associated buildings as part of his Estates Strategy 2017-21, which aims to modernise and reduce the overall size of the estate used by the force as well as streamlining overall running costs.

Some locations were scheduled for development and modernisation, while others were "surplus to requirements".

The existing Amesbury Community Policing Team (CPT) Tidworth touchdown stations were recognised as "no longer meeting operational needs" and options surrounding alternative locations were explored.

The PCC is contributing a third of the cost of the new civic centre. Upon completion of the new centre and once a suitable, centrally located touchdown point has been secured within Amesbury, the Amesbury and Tidworth stations will close and eventually be sold.

Mr Macpherson said: “This is an exciting project to be working on alongside Tidworth Town Council. As outlined within my Estates Strategy, shared public estate not only gives us the opportunity to work closer with our partners but also shares financial investment whilst giving our Force new, modern facilities from which to work.

“It’s important our staff and officers are satisfied with their place of work and this new location will be a much more appropriate and pleasant base.

“It is my duty to maximise the value of my estate with the proceeds of any sale of the Amesbury and Tidworth stations will get invested back into front line staffing and associated facilities, helping to retain the forces capability for policing in current times.”

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Inspector Liz Coles, for Amesbury CPT, added: “There will be no change to the services we provide to our local communities. Both Amesbury and Tidworth CPTs will be briefed at the new Centre before they start their usual tour of the local areas.

“We’ll still have a strong presence in the community with a centrally located touchdown point in Amesbury. The current station will only be closed once a suitable alternative site has been secured which we’re hoping will be situated close to, or on, the high street. But this won’t be for at least another 12 months or so.”

Mayor and Wiltshire Councillor for Tidworth Mark Connolly said: “Tidworth Town Council are excited at the prospect of the joint Civic Centre and CPT project. Having Wiltshire Police on board with the project is good for both partners and the community. Working together will mean we can deliver a project we and the town can be proud of.

“The Civic Centre will provide much more space and flexible use of its rooms for the community and community groups than the existing building. It will be a meeting place for all and a central hub for the community to come together.”

A planning application for the new centre will be submitted shortly. Subject to planning being approved, the build could take around approximately 14 to 15 months with an expected completion date at the end of 2023.