A new police station has opened in Manchester city centre.
The 24-hour public inquiry counter has opened in the Town Hall Extension, at the corner of Lloyd Street and Mount Street, marking the latest stage in the huge transformation of Manchester’s civic quarter.
The opening marks a return to the Town Hall by police – there was a police station based at Manchester Town Hall from its opening in 1877 until the 1930s.
The city centre’s neighbourhood policing team will also be based at the new station, where police will work alongside council officers.
Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd said:
“It’s great that police are being welcomed back to the Town Hall, but this isn’t about turning the clock back – it’s about looking to the future.
“This move is symbolic of the shared past between the police and local authority, but it also signifies a new relationship where all those who have a stake in building safer communities work side-by-side in genuine partnership.
“As well as having a brand new public inquiry counter, that will be open round the clock, police and council officers will work together as part of one team. Bringing people together who have a stake in building safer communities makes perfect sense. It allows better sharing of information, it means that city centre issues can be addressed more effectively and – most importantly of all – it provides a better service to people who live, work and socialise in the city centre.” Tony Lloyd
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, added: “Improving and extending the public services offered from the Town Hall has been central to our transformation programme.
“We want this building to be at the centre of city life and this partnership with the police is another strong example of this, and how we are working together with the police to support Manchester people and visitors.”
Chief Superintendent Nick Adderley of GMP’s North Manchester Division said: “I am delighted to bring my officers back into the Town Hall as we look to the future of policing in the city centre.
“We will be working with the local authority in providing an integrated service to the people of Manchester.
“The public service counter is perfectly placed in the hub of the city in Albert Square and will serve the needs of the public 24 hours a day.”
There is a long history of police and council working together. One of Manchester’s first police stations opened in the original Town Hall at King Street in 1838. When Waterhouse’s Town Hall opened in 1877, the police moved too and had substantial facilities at the new building, including offices, cells and even riot gates.
Police remained at the Town Hall until the 1930s when the then City of Manchester Police moved to its new headquarters at Bootle Street. Whilst state of the art at the time, Bootle Street police station is not fit for modern policing and over the past few years the building has been slowly decommissioned as police moved to the new divisional headquarters in Newton Heath. It is expected that Bootle Street will close permanently when the last staff leave in the autumn.
The future of the Bootle Street site is under consideration although it is likely to be sold.