Willmott Dixon has been selected by the Bedfordshire Police for the construction of a new £18m custody suite, replacing a temporary variant at Kempston headquarters in the UK.

Secured through Major Works England and Northern Ireland and part of the Scape National Construction framework, the new custody suite will include a 22-cell custody block, offices for police and staff along with parking and associated external works.

The custody suite will also be the first major building to be commissioned at the site since 2005.

Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holoway said: “Since the old Greyfriars station in Bedford closed down because its custody suite was not fit for purpose, its replacement has been being planned. This has been a priority for me and I’m absolutely delighted to get this build underway on my watch.

“This is essential as our detention staff and officers deserve to have the best working environment we can provide and we need to remember that those in police custody have not yet gone before a court and are innocent until proven guilty.”

Willmott Dixon London and the East managing director Chris Tredget said: “We are delighted to build on our strong pedigree in the blue light sector to deliver a new state of the art custody suite for Bedfordshire Police.

“Having built similar facilities in the region, we are collaborating closely Bedfordshire Police to ensure that the facility will meet all of their requirements and needs, providing a state-of-the-art building and better environment for all.”

Willmott Dixon has prior experience of building facilities for the police. Presently, it is constructing several facilities for police including the £20m control centre in Hull for Humberside Police and £37m new headquarters for Merseyside Police in Liverpool.

It had also built and handed over custody centre and operational hub in Exeter for Devon and Cornwall Constabulary and a combined campus for Lincolnshire Fire, Police and Ambulance services.

Scape Group CEO Mark Robinson said: “Ensuring continued investment in our police services is vital to help support communities right across the UK. As the government aims to reach its target of recruiting 20,000 new officers by 2022, projects like this will go a long way to support the additional resources required.

“This new facility will enable Bedfordshire Police to build upon its existing ability to deliver efficient and effective local services.

“I have no doubt that the completed facility will reflect the high-quality work Willmott Dixon is delivered for police forces across the UK. We take great pride in performance managing projects like this through our framework and I look forward to seeing the array of community benefits it will bring.”


Artist’s rendering of the new custody suite in Bedfordshire, UK. (Credit: Willmott Dixon.)