THE outdated police station in Royal Wootton Bassett will enjoy a £669,000 transformation to become a facility fit for 21st century policing.

Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson announced funds have been set aside to refurbish and remodel the building in Lime Kiln and increase parking for officers and staff.

Under the PCC’s estates strategy 2017 - 2021, Royal Wootton Bassett has been designated by the Chief Constable as a hub where members of North Wiltshire Community Policing Team (CPT) are briefed at the start of each shift before patrolling the town, as well as Malmesbury, Cricklade and many surrounding villages.

While the extensive revamp is going on, Royal Wootton Bassett officers and staff will work from Malmesbury Police Station in Burton Hill. The commissioner will be seeking planning permission to install a temporary building in the grounds to help accommodate them.

It is hoped that the work will start in July 2019, and it is likely to take about five months.

North Wiltshire CPT Inspector Mark Luffman said: “It’s important to emphasise that when the move to Malmesbury goes ahead, there will be no change in the service that the people of Royal Wootton Bassett receive from the force.

“Local residents can be reassured that, during the temporary move, officers and staff who are briefed at Malmesbury at the beginning of their shift will then go out on patrol in and around Royal Wootton Bassett, just as they do now.

“Thanks to the commissioner’s investment in mobile technology, officers and staff no longer need to return to a police station to do paperwork.

"Officers will be able to use other local premises such as cafes or the library to work from whilst in Royal Wootton Bassett.We are also exploring having access to a temporary touchdown point, a location in the town where officers can use their computers and arrange to meet members of the public.

“Officers, PCSOs and local crime investigators are looking forward to a modern workspace with open plan offices for briefings and a more pleasant setting to meet the public. We will also benefit from improved parking for both private and police vehicles.”

Mr Macpherson said: “Under my estates strategy we are sharing public buildings where we can. We are also disposing of buildings which are surplus to requirements, and we are investing for the future at a number of key locations across Wiltshire, including Royal Wootton Bassett.

“The existing police station is totally inadequate and I am pleased to be making a significant investment.

"I have committed to giving our police officers and staff buildings fit for the 21st century which will help to keep the public safe.”