Princess Royal to open Durham police’s new £15million HQ

NEW LOOK: An artist's impression of the new Durham Police headquarters at Aykley Heads.

NEW LOOK: An artist's impression of the new Durham Police headquarters at Aykley Heads.

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A FORCE’S new home is to be crowned when it gives a royal visitor a top tour.

Durham Constabulary’s £15million headquarters has been open since August, but is to be officially opened by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal on Monday morning.

The building in Aykley Heads, on the outskirts of Durham replaced the former headquarters nearby, with the former offices now awaiting demolition.

The three-storey building houses more than 600 staff from a range of departments and functions, with another base launched in Peterlee as part of the revamp project.

During the two-hour visit Her Royal Highness will unveil a commemorative plaque, take part in a tree-planting ceremony to mark the 175th anniversary of Durham Constabulary and be given a guided tour of several operational departments.

This will include the force communications room, which on a typical day handles several hundred ‘999’ and also non-emergency calls.

The police dog section will also be staging a dog obedience and agility display, and pupils from several local primary schools will be taking part in various educational activities, illustrating the force’s partnership approach and work with local communities.

Her Royal Highness will also hear about the force’s innovative work in reducing offending and its restorative justice work.

The new headquarters building has been designed to be as environmentally-friendly as possible.

Measures included in the design and construction phase include, solar power panels on the roof to generate electricity, windows in the building operate automatically, linked with a weather station on the roof.

Taps are automatic and sensor-controlled to stop overuse and a wild meadow area has been sown.