SCOTLAND’S police headquarters looks set to be located in Stirling, in a surprise move which will cost taxpayers £55,000.
Until now, chief officers have been based at the police college at Tulliallan, but Chief Constable Stephen House had made clear that was not a long-term solution.
In December, he told Scotland on Sunday the HQ should be near a “population centre” adding that it did not matter whether that was Edinburgh or Glasgow.
Police Scotland is understood to have lobbied the Scottish Police Authority in support of Dalmarnock, a new Glasgow office block being built by Clyde Gateway, with the help of £16 million in Scottish Government grants, which had once been earmarked as a future Strathclyde Police headquarters.
However, with the future of Dalmarnock still undecided, and the Scottish Police Authority unwilling to take on a large debt at a time of cost-cutting, Randolphfield, in Stirling, has emerged as the front runner.
The proposal, put forward by Police Scotland, will be discussed at today’s meeting of the Scottish Police Authority. Almost £700,000 has already been spent upgrading Tulliallan to make it a temporary base – approximately £100,000 for each month Mr House will have been based there. It will continue to be used as a ‘corporate headquarters’ and for conferences.
But Police Scotland confirmed Stirling was now its preferred option for senior officers.
A spokeswoman said: “A proposal has been submitted to locate the interim command base for Police Scotland at existing facilities at Stirling.
“The decision was based on the need for suitable infrastructure, essential to deliver the operational policing requirements from April and have immediate access to an incident command base which would allow the command team oversight, command and control of policing operations across the country. It is intended that Tulliallan will continue to be used as the corporate Police Scotland headquarters, with some offices and conference facilities retained for use by the chief constable and deputy chief constables.
“The remainder of the accommodation will be used by the national police reform team and other staff.
“This will ensure maximum benefit is achieved for the money spent upgrading Tulliallan Castle in 2012.”
She added: “The proposal for Dalmarnock is a matter for Strathclyde Police Authority and the Scottish Police Authority.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “The location of the permanent headquarters of the Police Service of Scotland is for the Scottish Police Authority and the Police Service of Scotland, to consider.”