Thames Valley Police to leave 'deteriorating' station

New Thames Valley Police station Image copyright Google
Image caption The new station will be south of Reading town centre, off Imperial Way

A police force has announced it will move into a new station due its town centre base becoming "no longer fit for purpose and costly to maintain".

Thames Valley Police is to close its Reading station after 40 years and move to an office south of the town centre.

In a project costing £10m, the town's police team will move its headquarters to Atlantic House, a three-storey office block, in early 2021.

The force said the search for a new station had begun in 2012.

It added the existing building in Castle Street had deteriorated, become expensive to run and was "much larger than needed for modern policing requirements".

A total of £5m was originally budgeted for the project, but police and crime commissioner Anthony Stansfeld approved a further £5m to be borrowed in March.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Reading Police Station was one of the largest in Europe when it was built 40 years ago

Mr Stansfeld said: "It is good news to have exchanged contracts on Atlantic House.

"The move to a new location has become a necessity as the existing building is no longer fit for purpose and costly to maintain."

The existing station was one of the biggest police stations in Europe when it opened four decades ago.

Chief Constable John Campbell said the new building would "require refurbishment and adaptation" before officers could move in.

He said the force would look to secure a smaller town centre base for neighbourhood officers.

There will be no cells at the new station, with the nearest facilities at Lodden Valley station.

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