A new divisional headquarters building for Lancashire Constabulary on the outskirts of Blackpool
Following a successful design competition through the Scape Framework, we were appointed to develop design solutions for Lancashire Constabulary’s new headquarters in Blackpool.
The new facility, located on a 10,000 square metre site on the outskirts of Blackpool close to the M55 motorway, comprises a three-storey building housing a 42-cell custody suite, public enquiry desk and associated offices and facilities for uniformed officers.
The innovative design features one of the UKs largest custody suites and provides a more secure environment for officers and those in custody.
Known as West Divisional Headquarters, the facility serves as the new headquarters for the Constabulary’s Western Division and replaces its previous base on Bonny Street, which was deemed not-fit-for-purpose and too costly to maintain.
The external appearance of the building takes its cues from Blackpool and the vibrant seaside environment with the use of colour and form derived from the sea and sand. The internal central atrium space is known as the Promenade.
The essence of the scheme is the interface of three contrasting building types and fusing them together in an efficient and flexible way. This provides an improved environment for staff and detainees, while delivering important efficiencies for the force.
Through subtle design solutions, which reduce floor space and provide flexibility for the constabulary’s ever-changing operational requirements, the new facility is able to provide staff with a more efficient work environment.
This improved efficiency is exemplified by the facility’s 42-cell custody suite, which is housed in a semi-circular precast concrete building and served with an abundance of natural light. By positioning the main custody desk centrally, with the cell corridors radiating out, the suite guarantees custody officers a line of sight to each cell corridor.
The design is intended to change the working culture of the Police Force through the implementation of an agile working model. This allows the reduction in the overall floor space, saving money and provides facilities which are more flexible to meet the ever-changing operational requirements.
We engaged in an extensive brief validation exercise and a series of stakeholder engagement events in order to develop the authority’s business case, before developing a clear set of desired objectives which provided a clear link back to the brief. This process was critical in informing the architectural and M&E design concepts and validating the competition winning approach. Care was taken to comply with the authority’s overall estate management strategy.
Through a series of workshops, research and consultation with stakeholders, we developed the accommodation schedule that was, in turn, used to develop the approved budget and cost plan.
Along with the professional team, McBains reviewed the costs at all stages of the project as part of an overall evaluation of the project against the cost plan.
By developing a detailed accommodation schedule (linked to the BIM model) we were able to manage the design development against requirement and cost targets.
The project was reviewed by the Home Office Design Review Panel which allowed the core principals of the project and design to be reviewed and assessed. This process validated that the design was appropriate for the force and the context, as well as public money.
Matt Horn, Chief Superintendent of the Lancashire Constabulary:
“The new West Division Police Headquarters is a massive improvement to the facilities we had at Bonny Street, which were very dated and simply no longer fit for purpose.
“These new facilities ensure we are well placed to deliver our service to communities, from an operating centre that delivers a modern working environment for our staff who work so hard to keep the area safe.”
Tony Whitehead, Enabler for the Ministry of Justice:
“McBains and Willmott Dixon have delivered a building to be proud of – a well-designed and well-constructed police base that effectively combines imaginative concept with careful attention to detail.
“The building represents a step-change in police accommodation, and will surely help strengthen staff well-being, service delivery, and the image of the Lancashire Constabulary in the community.”
Clive Grunshaw, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire:
“Constabulary officers have worked with the council to identify the best location for the future divisional HQ and town centre premises and I am really pleased that the design process can now begin. Money has been set aside for this development and I am sure it will benefit the whole of the west of the county when it is complete".
Ian Cosh, Director of Resources at Lancashire Police:
“We appointed McBains following a tough competition based on their experience in the police market and their professional approach. We are excited about working with them in what is a major investment for the Constabulary”.
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