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16 March, 2017

Boost for young people and jobs as Julia Mulligan announces the buyer of North Yorkshire Police HQ 

Today, (Thursday 16 March) Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, Julia Mulligan announced the new buyer of Newby Wiske Hall, North Yorkshire Police’s headquarters.

The property near Northallerton attracted a number of offers, which were carefully assessed for value for money, a desire to work sympathetically with the building and overall, to be positive for the local area.

After being approached by PGL, a company that provides educational activity courses for schools and young people, the Commissioner knew that she would be leaving the Grade II-listed country home in good hands.

When Julia was first elected as Police and Crime Commissioner in 2012, one of her pledges was to sell Newby Wiske Hall and provide the police with accommodation more suitable for a modern police service.

The new buyer, subject to contract, is named after its founder Peter Gordon Lawrence and was established in 1957. PGL plan to open to guests in Spring 2018 with the venture creating more than 100 jobs. The company will be sharing its plans for the site in more detail soon and is looking forward to moving into their new home.

Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan said: 
“I’m very pleased to be able announce the sale today. Back in 2012, I pledged to ensure that the people of North Yorkshire were served by a modern and responsive police force. To do this the police needed a headquarters fit for modern day policing.

Newby Wiske Hall and its grounds are beautiful, but as a listed former stately home in a relatively remote rural location, it’s not what’s needed in this day and age and is expensive to run. There is of course some sadness to be leaving our home of some 40 years, but our new HQ in central Northallerton will save money over the longer term and help us modernise the way we work, ultimately improving the service to our communities. 

“We had quite a few offers on the Hall and after careful consideration I have chosen a buyer who will work sympathetically with the building, have minimal impact on the environment and I believe, be a very good neighbour.

“I warmly welcome PGL to their new home.”

Richard Sanders Operations Director, PGL said:
 “PGL is delighted to have acquired Newby Wiske Hall and we are excited by the opportunity to open a new site in North Yorkshire. 

We intend to invest in sympathetic conversion of the existing buildings to create accommodation for pupils and teachers on school trips who will take part in a wide range of adventure activities and local excursions. We plan to open for our first guests in Spring 2018 and will create more than 100 jobs , not only instructing activities, but in catering, housekeeping, site maintenance and management roles. We will be pleased to share our plans in more detail at an open evening in the near future. We look forward to welcoming guests to North Yorkshire from next year.”

Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police Dave Jones said:
“North Yorkshire Police has been lucky enough to be the latest in a long line of custodians of this beautiful building.

“We moved our headquarters to Newby Wiske 40 years ago and it’s been a fantastic place to work. But changes to the way we work, the way we police and the technology we use means it’s time to move on to a site that better suits our requirements in the 21st century. 

“I’m eagerly anticipating our move to our new HQ at Alverton Court in Northallerton town centre this summer. We’ve been able to redevelop it to suit our needs exactly; it will support modern ways of working, it will be cost-effective to run and it will bring us even closer to the communities we serve. In short, it will be an excellent new home for North Yorkshire Police. 

“So as we pass ownership of Newby Wiske Hall to PGL Adventure Holidays, I would like to personally wish them all the best in their new home and hope they enjoy it as much as we have.”

PGL was established in 1957 and named after the initials of its founder Peter Gordon Lawrence. From one centre in the Wye Valley 60 years ago, PGL now owns and manages 23 activity centres in the UK, Europe and Australia. Each year more than 4,000 schools stay at a PGL centre and more than 350,000 children take part in activities such as climbing, canoeing and orienteering. PGL specialises in educational activity courses and in addition the business operates summer camps, language and other study courses and ski trips for schools and young people.

Interviews with Great Yorkshire Radio

Interview with Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan

Interview with Chief Constable Dave Jones

Pictured are Chief Constable Dave Jones, Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan, PGL UK Business Director Perry Sladen and PGL Operations Director Richard Sanders