A NEW multi-million-pound police training centre has been opened at Manvers.
The facility, based at the Callflex Building on Golden Smithies Lane, is now home to some of South Yorkshire Police’s most highly trained officers, including the major incident teams.
It was officially unveiled on Monday by Chief Constable Meredydd Hughes and chair of the South Yorkshire Police Authority, Charles Perryman.
The police authority agreed to the development of the building back in July 2009. It was due to become operational this December, but work finished months ahead of schedule.
This enabled nearly 100 training staff and over 70 Major Incident Team members from Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham, along with the Cold Case Review Team, to move in from August.
Together with the Force’s public order training base at another site in Manvers, the state-of-the-art complex means that the force now has unrivalled critical incident and public order training facilities based in the Dearne Valley.
Mr Hughes said: “This new training centre is not just a building, but a commitment to our staff – that they are worth this force investment in their future.
“It’s a visible sign of the partnership between the police service, the police authority and the public, who provide our funding and resources.
“It’s also a symbol of confidence in the future.”
He added: “Born out of the 2007 floods that damaged our training school at Ecclesfield in Sheffield, and built in the mining communities at the heart of our county, it demonstrates our resilience and our ability to meet the challenges we face in the future.
“It comes at a time when there is an increasing demand for training and sharing good practice.”
The centre, largely paid for by capital funds and the sale of assets, has 20 classrooms, an immersive learning unit and conference suite, besides the Major Incident Team’s facilities.
In times of emergency, the premises will also be used as a casualty bureau, allowing the force to respond to major incidents without affecting other functions.
Charles Perryman, chair of South Yorkshire Police Authority, said: “This is a significant investment by the authority as we believe it is crucial to the ongoing development of the force in the county.
“The new facility will provide our officers with the sufficient training they require to meet the needs of an ever-changing police service.”