England

West Mercia Police's £3m HQ upgrade 'will raise cash'

West Mercia Police said investing £3m in refurbishing its Worcester headquarters would help it to raise more money in the long term.

It plans to spend £3m repaving the driveway and upgrading the gatehouse at Hindlip Hall.

It said that would make the site more attractive to other organisations hiring the hall for conferences.

The police authority, which regulates the force's efficiency, said the cost was a strategic investment.

West Mercia Police force, which covers Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire, announced on 27 August that it was shedding 287 posts within the next three years to save money.

Secure site

The proposed cuts include 189 civilian jobs and 98 officers, out of 2,400 currently serving police officers.

The force said planning consent was given for its headquarters refurbishment in 2008.

It said Hindlip Hall had a significant training school and conferencing facility which was used by forces from the UK and abroad.

"As a busy operational base the site needs to be secure with a speedy response on to the motorway network," a force spokesman said.

Sheila Blagg, chair of the West Mercia Police Authority, said: "The cost will be on the capital account spread over 30 years and the improvements will generate significant development opportunities. "

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