Ayr Advertiser

New police station is offically unveiled

- Neil Smith neil.smith@newsquest.co.uk

AYR’S new Police Station was officially opened after officers made the move from King Street to Newton House.

And the former school and council office has been transforme­d into a ultra-modern policy facility.

Police Scotland’s Chief Constable Sir Iain Livingston and South Ayrshire Provost Ian Campbell unveiled the plaque and officially declared the new office open, watched by civic officials, former and current officers and other invited guests.

Before the ceremony, Ayrshire’s top cop Chief Superinten­dent Faroque Hussain, said: “I am really privileged to be here today in our new building – our new home in South Ayrshire.

“The old police building wasn’t in a condition we would like. We were determined to find a new place we could be really proud of.

“Thanks to help from South Ayrshire Council we’ve found it.”

The £1.5 million transforma­tion of Newton House is indeed impressive.

As well as all the facilities you would expect in a police station, there are added comforts for the staff – including a gym, a multifaith prayer room, a bespoke mothering room, a gender neutral changing facility for LGBTI workers and wellbeing rooms, offering quiet spaces for employees.

Chief Constable Sir Iain – who is set to retire within a few weeks – said: “Whatever role we have in the police service, whatever division or department, there is one common purpose – to keep people safe.

“It is an enormous responsibi­lity and and enormous privilege.”

He hailed the work of the police estates team in upgrading Newton House and described it as “a fantastic building’.

Provost Campbell said: “I am old enough to remember this building being a school. Then it became council offices.

“I am glad that the police will continue the tradition for many years into the future.”

After the official opening, there was another ceremony held – rededicati­ng the War Memorial to Ayr officers who died in the two world wars, which has now been moved into its own space in Newton House.

The former King Street police station, which opened in 1975, was leaky and regarded as unsuitable for the current wera.Perhaps ironically, its replacemen­t, Newton House, was built in 1976, almost 100 years earlier. A testament to Victorian buuilding skills?

Chief Superinden­tent Hussain said: “Ayr Police Station in King Street, is a much loved building that has been at the heart of delivering policing services in Ayrshire for almost 50 years, having opened in May 1975.

“However, the building was no longer fit for purpose for modern policing and relocating nearby is cost effective and keeps officers in the community.

“Through our excellent working relationsh­ip with South Ayrshire Council we identified Newton House as a location that would enable policing services to continue to be delivered in Ayr.

“Newton House brings to life the vision of Police Scotland’s Estates Strategy, which not only facilitate­s greater partnershi­p working but also helps to reduce the costs of maintainin­g unsuitable public sector buildings.

“The move to Newton House will mean a real improvemen­t to the working environmen­t for officers and staff, and there will continue to be an accessible public counter.”

 ?? ?? Dignitarie­s and senior staff outside Newton House after the official unveiling
Dignitarie­s and senior staff outside Newton House after the official unveiling

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