A new eco-friendly police station has been awarded a major honour by construction experts.
The Eastern Command and Custody Facility in Llay has been kitted out with upcycled furniture and has a host of energy-saving features.
The project received a Highly Commended Award in the People Development Category at the glittering Construction Excellence Awards at the Celtic Manor in Newport.
During construction by Galliford Try, the local economy was given a £17 million boost and 43 employment opportunities were created, with 10 of them provided to people who had been unemployed for a long time.
Among those who worked on the project was an ex-offender who had been in and out of prison for the previous 10 years.
He said: “Having this opportunity has made me want to keep out of trouble and distance myself with my old friends and ways of life.
“I don’t want to go back on benefits, I want to follow a career in construction.
“The support that I’ve received from Galliford Try has made me realise that it’s never too late to change.”
North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones, who is responsible for all police buildings, was delighted to hear about the award.
He said: “There was considerable collaboration amongst all the interested parties from contractor to consultants and client as well as the subcontractors.
“The ethos of Galliford Try mirrors very much my ethos and that of the Future Generations Act, which is evidenced in such strong figures for the employment of local sub-contractors and labour, as well as sourcing local suppliers.”
A spokesperson for Galliford Try said: “Given the specialist nature of aspects of the project design we are very proud to have ensured that 65% of the supply chain spend was within 30 miles of the project, with 29% of subcontractors based in Wales.
“We calculated that approximately £17,100,980 was reinvested in the local economy as a result of our own spend with the project supply chain, and their spend locally.
“Galliford Try recognises the importance of sustaining employment and retaining skills within the local area.
“We calculate the wider contribution to the Wrexham economy, known as Gross Value Added, as £6.1 million. This represents the increased productivity in the economy created through new and safeguarded employment.”
The 8,680 square metre complex has offices and facilities for 350 police officers and staff, including 32 cells, canteen facilities and two gyms as well as locker rooms and garages.
The awards judges heard that some of the refurbished desks and chairs came from the former divisional HQ in Wrexham that it’s replaced.
The state-of-the art building, which cost £21.5 million, has an 80 kilowatt solar array on the roof and rainwater harvesting for washing 85 police vehicles a week.
Smart LED lighting has been installed and already the building is showing that its energy use is 50 per cent lower than equivalent older buildings.
Chief Constable Carl Foulkes said: “I am delighted that this fantastic eco-friendly facility, which provides an excellent working environment for officers and staff and enables us to better meet the demands of a modern policing, has been recognised for this award. It’s a testament to all those involved in bringing this ambitious project to fruition.”
Estates Project Manager Liz Bryan said: “Galliford Try went above and beyond the requirements of the Framework and the North Wales Police contract documents with regards to social value.
“Joy Woods, the contractor’s Social Value Manager ensured that the impact of Galliford Try made a positive and lasting impression upon the communities around Llay, in employment, training, work experience, community projects or school visits.
“The team both on and off site was fully committed to the social value policies of both organisations and I feel really proud about what has been achieved.”