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South Wales open new training centre

The force has opened a new Police Learning Centre on the Headquarters site in Bridgend.

The training centre has replaced “obsolete” facilities spread across the force area.

While it will not be opened officially until September, staff and officers have begun using the building this month. 

The facility will house all the teaching requirements within one building which will act as a permanent base for Learning and Development Services and Human Resources. 

It contains two large training suites for fitness tests, taser training and officer safety training as well as classrooms and a lecture theatre. 

Previously, training facilities were spread across the whole force area and included buildings in a “poor state” as well as the use of portable cabins. 

The £28m development forms part of a 10 year strategy to replace a number of outdated buildings. Part of the plan will be funded by selling off a number of sites expected to bring in £24m in capital receipts, a £19m saving on costs that would have been needed to run the outdated buildings and a £2m reduction in annual running costs. 

Under Uplift, South Wales needs to train around 1,000 new officers.

Police & Crime Commissioner Alun Michael said: “The Police Learning Centre development at Police Headquarters is a major investment in the training of new and existing police officers and staff, for today and for the future.

“Recruiting additional police officers and Police Community Support Officers as well as replacing those who are due to retire means that South Wales Police has to recruit and train around 1,000 new officers over the next three years. That is a monumental task and it’s vital that we have the right facilities to be able to do it.

“Training has been modernised beyond all recognition in recent years so these new facilities will enable us to deliver that high quality training which the public would expect us to provide for our future police officers.”

Chief Financial Officer Umar Hussain said: “South Wales Police has a proven track record of sound resource management and redeveloping its estate while maintaining an effective 24/7 emergency service. Our new training facilities are something to be proud of and what our new and existing officers and staff deserve. We have over many years worked with our partners to provide better services and more value for money to the public by not spending money on repairing obsolete buildings and thereby making substantial savings on running costs.

“This includes providing better facilities for our frontline officers and staff with new police stations and custody facilities at Cardiff Bay, Bridgend and Merthyr, a new station at Talbot Green, a new joint police and fire public service centre at Bridgend, a new vehicle maintenance centre in conjunction with Bridgend Council and shared community facilities such as Llanedeyrn Hub in collaboration with Cardiff Council and a new four partner Emergency Services Station in Llantwit Major.”

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