A STATE-of-the-art police training centre has been handed over to Gloucestershire Constabulary.

The Sabrina Centre is based within a completely renovated building at the site of the former Berkeley Nuclear Power Station.

Gloucestershire Constabulary took ownership of the completed site on Friday, May 15.

Work on the Sabrina Centre police training and conference facility started in September 2019, with the first intake of recruits due to be welcomed in May 2020.

However, Covid-19 has meant that date has had to be changed.

The renovation project was the concept of Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl, who acquired a 150-year lease on the building rent-free for £600,000 from the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency.

The Sabrina Centre – named after the mythical goddess of the River Severn – will be a state-of-the-art, eco-friendly resource, to be used mainly by Gloucestershire Constabulary for the majority of its training requirements, but which will also be made available to other forces and agencies with their own training needs, or any group or organisation in the county simply needing a place to meet.

The two-storey former laboratory building contains a conference venue, multiple meeting and lecture rooms, a canteen, gym, parade ground and parking for around 250 cars.

A spokeswoman for the PCC’s office said that the Sabrina Centre will replace the constabulary’s current facilities, which are no longer fit for purpose, and that it will save the force the time and money spent sending staff away for some courses.

She said that it will also allow the constabulary to prepare for planned growth in its frontline by more than 300 officers and staff over the next three years, and help to generate income, recouping some of the costs of the scheme.

One of the PCC’s responsibilities is to ensure public money is spent prudently and since the site was vacant, structurally sound and in good order, adapting an existing building for the constabulary’s needs rather than constructing one from scratch has saved several million pounds.