Willmott Dixon has held its most unique topping out at the new HQ for Merseyside Police with a carefully planned, socially distant ceremony
In one of the construction industry’s first topping out events since lockdown measures were introduced to control the spread of Covid-19, visitors to Merseyside Police’s new HQ site celebrated the completion of the main construction phase by watching Merseyside’s police commissioner Jane Kennedy and chief constable Andy Cooke QPM sign the last piece of steel.
Social distancing measures in place included a one-way system on staircases to the top floor, as well as clear markings for two metre spacing in the site’s cabins and areas such as walkaways, allowing guests to be sufficiently spread out before, during and after the ceremony.
With the steel frame now complete, work can begin on other parts of the bespoke four-storey headquarters, which will act as Merseyside Police’s flagship base on a key gateway into the city centre, overlooking Scotland Road and the entrance to the Queensway tunnel, while helping to regenerate the Everton area.
The development is due for completion in Autumn 2021.
The build of the new HQ for Merseyside Police will be home for up to 1,110 police officers and staff, providing a hub for collaboration as well as creating better efficiencies by bringing more services under one roof and freeing up a number of leased buildings that will help the force save approximately £250,000 a year on its running costs.
A much-needed Headquarters
Jane Kennedy, police commissioner, said: “This new Headquarters is the visible proof of the determination that the chief constable and I share to provide the officers and staff of Merseyside Police with the best facilities we can afford, to help them fight crime now and into the future.
“This new headquarters will do just that, saving approximately £250,000 a year in running costs compared to the existing headquarters, while helping the force to continue to protect our communities for years to come.”
Anthony Dillon, managing director of Willmott Dixon in the North, said: “We’re proud to be delivering such as landmark and important project for Merseyside Police.
“Ensuring the Merseyside Police headquarters are future-proofed for the changing complexities of modern policing is critical and this will be a quality and cost-effective environment that will serve officers, PCSOs and staff for years to come.
“We share a commitment to leaving a positive and lasting legacy in the communities and economies in which we work, which has seen us invest £23m of our project spend to date with local businesses based within 20 miles of the project.
“The safety of our site teams on-site remains the highest priority to us and to reach this milestone in the current circumstances is testament to the strength of the relationships and collaboration between our team, the force and all our local supply chain partners.”