AS part of efforts to keep the community safe, the police and fire service now work from the same building in Leyburn.

Officers and staff from the town’s Victorian police station on the High Street have now moved to the nearby fire station following a decision by North Yorkshire’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, working with the chief constable and chief fire officer.

The former police station will now be put up for sale and is expected to provide a capital receipt of approximately £250,000. Having only one building to maintain should make an expected annual saving of roughly £12,000 per year. Some of this money has already been invested in an upgrade of the station’s facilities, particularly its IT.

The police say co-location enables savings to be reinvested in frontline services, whilst retaining police teams in local communities, and has already successfully taken place in other areas across the county, including Ripon, Thirsk and Bedale.

Presently, the volunteer-led front counter is closed due to the pandemic, but it will return as soon as possible with times advertised locally. It is also more accessible for those with limited mobility.

The back of the new joint base for the police and fire service in Leyburn

The back of the new joint base for the police and fire service in Leyburn

North Yorkshire’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Philip Allott said: “Technology means that our officers, PCSOs and staff do not require buildings in the same way as they once did.

“As commissioner for both North Yorkshire Police and fire and rescue I am able to ensure that where it makes sense that efficiencies in the operation of our buildings and services are implemented.

“By bringing together the police and fire and rescue service in Leyburn, we are achieving value for money for the taxpayer, maintaining access to our policing teams in the area and giving officers and staff from both services a fit-for-purpose place to base themselves.”

The attractive former police station was opened in 1878. Ideas mooted for its use include community-led housing, an indoor attraction or even a restaurant. These may prove optimistic as at present the town centre has six unoccupied buildings, one of which has been empty for more than ten years.