Derbyshire’s police and fire services have officially taken up residence in their joint headquarters.
The new building, sited at the existing police headquarters at Butterley, will mainly house administrators for both organisations but uniformed staff will be stationed there to allow more efficient and effective front-line service delivery.
Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa said: “This building is a very tangible illustration of partnership working, with two critically important blue light services working together to develop a joint headquarters that is fit for the future.
“For the avoidance of doubt, this is a joint venture not a merger of the two services both of which will retain their independence, although there are numerous benefits associated with the co-location.
“It means we can both save on capital and revenue costs and it will provide opportunities to see how can work together from the bottom up.”
Mr Dhindsa said the revenue and capital savings would allow Derbyshire Constabulary to budget and meet the demands of cuts from the last spending review.
Derbyshire’s chief constable, Mick Creedon, said: “The buildings that both services were working in were out-dated and in desperate need of refurbishment.
“And this is a cost effective solution - by sharing it with our fire service colleagues it has allowed us to share costs of construction and maintenance.”
“This also gives us a real opportunity in the future - both forces work to protect people and stop them doing dangerous and stupid things.
“So, inevitably, we will be working together.”
Terry McDermot, Derbyshire’s Chief Fire Officer, said: “This is an exciting time as we get ready to move from our current headquarters in Littleover, which has ceased to be an effective and efficient central base, into a modern, purpose-built joint headquarters.
“We are planning to make savings of more than £1m during the next ten years as a result.”
Chris Marshall-Clarke, chairman of the fire authority, said the move would allow for closer working and sharing of ideas and working practices.