Willmott Dixon has been awarded a £28.5 million contract to deliver a new city centre police headquarters in Newcastle for Northumbria Police Authority. Construction will commence this month on the site adjacent to the East Coast mainline station on Forth Banks.

The project involves a clever use of two existing buildings that will be refurbished and connected together by a new-build element. Accommodation being refurbished is the six storey Kings House, converted to provide custody ancillary areas and office space, while an adjacent Grade two warehouse will be updated to house a 50 cell custody suite. Connecting both together will be a new three storey operations centre and atrium area.

Willmott Dixon’s office on Tyneside will carry out the project, which forms part of Northumbria Police Authority’s strategy to develop a new generation of police stations required for the demands of modern policing.

Willmott Dixon’s project director on Tyneside, Andrew Mackintosh, said, “We’ve worked closely with the architectural design team within Property and Design in Gateshead Council, Mott Macdonald, structural engineers, and Desco, building services consultants, with the aim of fully utilising local expertise. This team will deliver a part new-build, part refurbishment concept that meets the police force’s demands both operationally and on budget. It shows how existing urban accommodation can be successfully adapted and merged with new-build.”

The project was secured under the Scape framework, which ensures the majority of the project value is spent locally, which is a vital factor in the current economic climate. This includes a requirement that a minimum of 50% of the project value is spent within a 40 mile radius and 75% within 60 miles.

Willmott Dixon will complete the project in 2014. It’s the latest project in the area for the locally based contractor, with offices in Team Valley.