York & North Yorkshire

Harrogate police training centre to close

A specialist police training centre in North Yorkshire is to be closed down.

The National Police Training College in Pannal Ash, Harrogate, is one of four such facilities in England and employs 184 people.

It is run by the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA), which has been tasked by the Home Office with cutting its property spending by 50%.

The NPIA has not decided when to close the site. It said staff, police chiefs and councillors had been consulted.

The building has a conference theatre, seminar rooms and 33 en-suite bedrooms.

The agency said it was "exploring the possibility of disposing of the site".

It also said it was "looking into the feasibility of moving the training activities to other NPIA sites and finding alternative locations in the area for the other national police work currently done there".

The government wants to phase out the NPIA by March 2012 and is looking at which of its functions are still needed.

Chief executive Nick Gargan said: "It is absolutely critical that the agency looks at how best it can use its resources to serve the police service given the very tough financial situation.

"We will now explore the best way that the NPIA and its successor bodies can continue to provide high-quality support to policing whilst giving the best possible value for money to the taxpayer."

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