15 March 2010
John Denham, Communities Secretary visited the new Operational Command Unit project in Southampton today.
The visit is part of the Association of Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) local MP visit scheme to highlight the work of local engineers and the need for continued investment in infrastructure for the health of the community.
Appointed by Kier Regional, WYG is delivering the new £35m Operational Command Unit (OCU) project for the Hampshire Police Constabulary. The OCU is being developed on a complicated island site at the edge of central Southampton, surrounded by dual carriageway roads, a National Grid pylon requiring diversion and flood defence works.
Andrew Griffiths, Technical Director, WYG Engineering said: “As an international consultant, we are providing a range of engineering and environmental services on this flagship police headquarters building. The very difficult ground conditions and challenging surrounds the development has its share of challenges as we seek to gain a BREEAM very good rating.”
Communities Secretary, John Denham was taken on a guided tour of the site by WYG and members of the project team, which occupies a central location in Southampton.
John Denham said: “It often gets unreported just how important good infrastructure, such as the Operational Command Unit project, is to all of our everyday lives. Whether it’s the local police station, hospital, road or sports facility, delivering and maintaining good infrastructure is critical to the local community in Southampton.
“The new police headquarters in the centre of Southampton, once completed, will bring great benefits by making people feel safer and potentially quicker responses to crimes due to its central location.
“During the recession, the Labour Government has increased spending on public buildings like police stations, hospital and schools. We’ve kept the economy on the way to recovery despite the global economic crisis. If we had cut projects like this one, we would have made the recession last longer, more people would be out of work and it would have cost us all more in the long run” he added.
The project was won under the South East Centre for Excellence process and will allow the Police to move out of the Southampton Civic Centre in 2010.
Photograph (L-R): Chris Vivian, WYG; John Denham, Communities Secretary; Alex Marshall,Chief Constable; Andrew Griffiths, WYG