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Have your say on the sale of Merseyside Police's historic former headquarters

MERSEYSIDE'S Police's historic former headquarters on Canning Place is set to go on the market and you're invited to have your say on what should replace it.

Merseyside's Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell has confirmed that a team of experts has now been appointed to market and manage the sale of the landmark Station, which is positioned in a prime location just a stone's throw from the City's historic waterfront and next to Liverpool 1 shopping and leisure complex.

Following an open and robust procurement exercise, the Police Commissioner has appointed the consultancy and construction firm Mace Consult Ltd and leading commercial property estate agents, Colliers, supported by PLACED engagement specialists, to assist with the marketing and disposal of the site and to attract the broadest and highest calibre of potential developers.

As part of the 2 stage process of putting the 2.65 acre plot on the market and in line with the PCC's commitment to social value, the site's potential will 1st be explored via a public consultation which will see the public and local stakeholders asked how they would like the land to be developed.

Members of the public are invited to share their views on what the site should be used for by taking part in an online survey at:- Placed-Engagement.Org.UK.

2 consultation events will also be held to give members of the public the opportunity to share their views on the future of the site in person.

The next of the 2 pop up shops to be held on the upper level of South John Street, next to Oliver Bonas, in Liverpool ONE, will be from:- 11am to 6pm, on:- Thursday, 15 February 2024.

The views shared through this consultation will help to shape the production of a memorandum of understanding which in turn will be used to advertise the site, described as:- "the best regeneration opportunity in the entire country" on the open market.

Merseyside's Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said:- "Canning Place was a loyal servant to Merseyside Police for more than 40 years, but with the opening of our flagship new headquarters at Rose Hill and major refurbishments to other Stations such as St Anne Street now completed, I'm delighted we're now able to start the process of putting the site up for sale. The sale of Merseyside Police's historic former headquarters is a unique opportunity to create something special on Liverpool's iconic waterfront. People from all over the Region, the country and indeed the world, know and love our skyline along the Mersey, boasting the 3 Graces and the Royal Albert Dock and Kings Dock. I'm committed to ensuring this pivotal plot of land is used for a high quality development which will enhance the City and have a long lasting economic, social, and environmental value for local people. I'm keen to hear the views of the public and of our key stakeholders on how they would like the site to be used. Your views will play a pivotal role in shaping the memorandum of understanding in the advertising brief which we will issue later this year with the aim of attracting the best possible bidders for this brilliant regeneration opportunity, so please have your say."

Merseyside Police began the process of vacating Canning Place and relocating to a new headquarters to a £48m purpose-built new base, Rose Hill, in October 2021 in a move which has enabled more than 1,100 Officers and staff to work together under 1 roof. This state of the art new headquarters, just off St Anne Street was officially opened by HRH The Earl of Wessex in March 2022.

Since then, Canning Place, which 1st opened its doors in 1977, has been used to house various police teams, while refurbishments to other Stations have taken place and has been a base for significant policing operations, including:- Eurovision.

The move from Canning Place to Rose Hill is already enabling the organisation to save £589,000 a year on its annual running costs.

Mike Brassington, Director at Colliers, said:- "This is an exceptional opportunity to shape the future development of Canning Place and provide positive feedback that will best inform the eventual site disposal. Situated in a prime location within Liverpool City Centre, Canning Place fronts The Strand, Liverpool's world renowned waterfront and is adjacent to Liverpool One. As such, the opportunity will appeal to a range of Regional, national, and international developers seeking to invest in Liverpool."

Lynne Parker, Mace Blue Light Lead (North and Central Regions) said:- "Mace is extremely proud of its long standing relationship with Merseyside Police and helping shape its estate strategy, especially in the development and delivery of Merseyside Police's new headquarters, Rose Hill, which has allowed for the disposal of the former headquarters, Canning Place. Canning Place's prime location is in close proximity to Liverpool's iconic amenities, including:- The Royal Albert Dock and the renowned Liverpool Waterfront, opening up development opportunities which will shape Liverpool City's vision for the future."

Have your say on the future of Canning Place by 11 March 2024, online at:- Placed-Engagement.Org.UK.

HART Ambulance Service to return to Elm House, Anfield site

NORTH West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NWAS) is returning to its old area headquarters on Belmont Grove, Anfield, Liverpool, after planning approval from Liverpool City Council was granted this month.

The site was the base for Mersey Regional Ambulance Service before its merger with other North West services in 2006 forming NWAS, and for some years later, it acted as Cheshire and Merseyside's area office, housing a:- 999 and 111 call centre. In 2019, staff based there were moved to a new build site on the Estuary Point estate in Speke.

Now the property is to be demolished to build a new base for Merseyside's Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) which is made up of specially trained paramedics who attend incidents that have the potential to be more dangerous, those which require a more specialised set of skills, or incidents that are declared a major incident, such as:- fires / explosions, unsafe structures and those involving chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or other hazardous materials, such as a gas leak.

Before the planning application was submitted, the trust consulted with residents and is delighted that the green light has been given to go ahead with the project.

Assistant Director of Resilience, Steve Hynes comments:- "Our Merseyside HART team has been based at a site owned by Mersey Fire and Rescue up until now but it is time they had a new home and what better than a site we currently own? HART members have a complex range of vehicles and equipment and have stringent training needs and so this site will include all of that and enable them to quickly respond to incidents throughout the Cheshire and Merseyside area. Staff are looking forward to having a state of the art base with modern facilities and we are delighted that we can transform a site that has been a part of the Ambulance Service for many years."

The site will include office accommodation with:- training classrooms, offices and meeting rooms, a gym and a large garage, while externally, the large radio tower will be replaced with a training climbing tower.

NWAS will be working with Wates Construction Group to deliver the project, with work set to start in March, with an estimated move in date of June 2025.

Sarah Cooke, Regional Director for North West; Construction, at Wates, said:- "The Elm House site redevelopment provides a state of the art environment that will support the vital work carried out by the Ambulance Service for years to come. We're honoured to have been chosen to deliver it and we look forward to getting started on site. We have extensive experience delivering new facilities for other blue light organisations, such as Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, and know the positive impact these modern schemes have; not only on those that work in them, but for the wider community. As with all our projects, we'll be working closely with NWAS and other local stakeholders to deliver both an exemplary build and a multitude of social value initiatives that support the entirety of Merseyside."

During the construction phase, both NWAS and Wates will also be working together on a community engagement programme to ensure residents are kept up to date with progress and local children and young people can have the opportunity to get involved in the new venture.

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