MANSFIELD WOODHOUSE: youth group to take over police station

Mansfield Woodhouse Police Station.
Mansfield Woodhouse Police Station.
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Mansfield Woodhouse Police Station will no longer be put up for sale after plans were announced to turn it into a youth centre.

Last year Chad revealed that Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping planned to sell the building at a massive loss to cut police expenditure.

But the Mansfield Woodhouse Youth Project has now approached the commissioner in a bid to lease the building, to give young people more to do and reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.

At a meeting on Monday, Mr Tipping confirmed that the building will still close, and police will move to a new community venue.

But he has confirmed to Chad that the building will be leased to the project on a short-term basis, which would become permanent once Lotto funding is secured.

Mansfield Woodhouse Coun Joyce Bosnjak, who is involved with the group, said the project would become financially sustainable by sub-letting rooms to other groups.

She said: “There is a strong possibility that this could be the facility for young people that the Mansfield Woodhouse community has been asking for for a very long time.”

Apart from providing a venue for young people to go in the evening, organisers would also work with other agencies to ensure youngsters had access to expert advice on areas including careers and sexual health, Coun Bosnjak added.

The station was built for £1.3m in 2007 but would only fetch £425,000 in current market rates, putting the force £875,000 out of pocket if the sale went ahead.

The force has argued that closing the station will represent a saving of £50,000 per year in running costs.

Mr Tipping told Chad: “I have held discussions with Joyce Bosnjak and colleagues, and they have had the opportunity to look around the police station.

“I’m very keen to see the building put to community use with them. We have reached agreement in principle that they can move in on a short-term basis with the possibility of a longer-term lease when they have got the necessary financial backing.”

PICTURED: Mansfield Woodhouse Police Station and Coun Joyce Bosnjak.