Whittlesey police station will be transformed into town council offices and two flats for Syrian refugees
PUBLISHED: 16:29 06 August 2018 | UPDATED: 14:32 07 August 2018
Two flats are being prepared for Syrian refugees as part of renovation work to turn the former police station into a new hub for Whittlesey town council.
The council will earn a guaranteed £71,500 from the Government over five years for use of the flats.
The council, that bought the police station last year, will use the money on future projects.
Under the government scheme a managing agent would be provided at no cost to the town council to monitor the premises and be on hand for any emergency.”
Town clerk Sue Piergianni said: “The new building will have a ground floor council chamber with fully disabled facilities.
“The other side of the building will house the town clerk, a working area for councillors and a public reception.
“We plan to have solar panels, an electric vehicle charging point and other energy efficient measures to reduce consumption. The current offices are rented so the new building will become a community asset.
“Central Government are setting up the Syrian Vulnerable People’s scheme which many councils are taking part in, with the aim of finding homes for 20,000 people who have fled war-torn Syria.
“Whittlesey Town Council agreed earlier this year to provide two flats to help rehouse Syrian refugee families.
“These were the vacant flats which were acquired as part of the purchase.
“When the council agreed to take part in the scheme, it was on the condition that it would be at no cost to Whittlesey council tax payers.
“An external organisation will oversee their care and welfare as part of a five-year scheme.
“Whittlesey Christian Church will be assisting this initiative and has received many donations towards this.”
Following a tender process Swann Edwards were appointed project managers for the site.
Local trades will be asked to tender for the works.
It is hoped the building will be ready for use at the start of 2019.
The flats were used for police officer accommodation but in around 2009 were turned into interview suites. They are now to be converted back to flats.
Whittlesey police station closed in August 2016 as part of a restructure.
Since then, the local policing team start their day from March, allowing them to receive a pre-shift briefing from a sergeant face to face, before going out into the community.
The police station opened in the town in October 1968.