CIRENCESTER is in line for a new police station after Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Martin Surl completed the purchase of the town’s former magistrates’ court.

Contracts have been exchanged with the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and the complex deal has now been finalised.

It brings to an end protracted negotiations which began in 2012 and fulfils a promise Mr Surl made in his election manifesto to secure a police station in the town for future generations.

The PCC hopes to adapt Cirencester Fire Station into a shared police and fire facility, with the old court house a fall back option if that is not possible.

He said: “It’s taken longer than I had hoped as I’m sure anyone who has bought and sold a property will understand but I am delighted we have managed to complete at last.

“My thanks, as always, to Harrison Clark Rickerbys for their skill and perseverance through what has been at some points a difficult process.

“I have agreed in principle with the district council that I will release the site for re-development once I have managed to secure an alternative location for the police station.

“My preferred option would be turning the fire station into a joint police and fire facility. If that’s not possible, I will ask district planners to include plans for a purpose-built station as part of their proposals for re-development.”

If the court house, which closed in 2010, is not used as part of the commissioner’s plans, it will be turned over to the council to be incorporated into the town centre redevelopment plans.

Mr Surl said: “The Chief Constable and I remain fully committed to a strong police presence in Cirencester and this includes a fit for purpose police station.

“This deal means we can produce a building that’s fit for the 21st century and play our part in the town’s redevelopment at the same time.

“As with other properties I have been able to acquire on behalf of the Constabulary in other parts of the county, this is not a short term fix but one that will give the police security for the future,” he added.

Cllr Mark MacKenzie-Charrington, cabinet member for planning at Cotswold District Council, said: “We are very pleased that it is now most likely that there will continue to be a police presence in Cirencester.

“We look forward to receipt of a planning application which, if approved, will ensure the provision of a new police station, either as part of a facility shared with the fire service or as a new purpose-built headquarters.”

It is the latest property deal Mr Surl has overseen, which has saved the constabulary an estimated £10million compared to plans previously drawn-up by the old police authority.