New £4.5m police training facility in Kettering set to be approved

An artist's impression.
An artist's impression.

A major training facility for Northants Police in Kettering is set to be approved by planners tonight (Tuesday).

Plans for the £4.5m building, adjacent to what was supposed to be the new HQ in Cherry Hall Lane, were revealed in September.

In December, police and crime commissioner Stephen Mold told the Northants Telegraph the force couldn’t function without the building.

He has since reversed a decision to move the force to Kettering from their current Wootton Hall HQ, but a spokesman for Mr Mold said they are still going ahead with the new training facility.

Speaking in December he said: “At the minute we are training the brightest and best to look after us in Northamptonshire in portable buildings at Wootton Hall.

“Doing that we’re not going to attract the people to protect us in the modern world.

“We couldn’t function without the new training centre because basically we wouldn’t meet our legal requirements for training and we wouldn’t be able to adapt to modern crime.”

The proposed two-storey, 1,588 sq m building will feature a staff training centre, office accommodation with flexible classrooms and meeting rooms, a sports hall to double up as lecture theatre with retractable seating for 80 people, a fitness suite and gym.

If the plans are approved by Kettering Council, work on the site could start by 2018.

Mr Mold added: “This is a facility that if approved we will be using for the next 30 years and it will take us that long to pay for it because we’ll finance it that way to make sure it doesn’t impact on policing.

“At the moment we don’t have classrooms and the capability to train our cyber cops.

“A modern training facility allows us to do that and by building on a major campus already means that running costs will be saved.

“My job is to make sure I give as much money as I can to the chief constable for him to deliver modern policing and to protect people from harm.

“This is great value for money and we have to make sure we look after people.”

No formal objections to the plans were received although a S106 contribution will have to be made to to improve signalling at the nearby hamburger roundabout.

The meeting starts at 6.30pm in the Celebration Suite at Wicksteed Park.