MINEHEAD'S former Seahorse Centre will be turned into a new police station, Avon and Somerset Police have confirmed.

The police force has purchased the building on Stephenson Road from Somerset Council and is preparing to start refurbishment work on the premises in May.

The new station will house an enquiry office, the Neighbourhood Policing Team, and will also provide touchdown desks for response officers.

It is thought that the work will be completed by late autumn 2024.

Temporary chief inspector, Rebecca Wells-Cole, said, “This is great news that we’re excited to share with the community of Minehead.

“Our existing station in Minehead on Townsend Road is oversized, in need of refurbishment and is no longer suitable to meet the needs of modern policing.

"This new station will be much more efficient to run and allow us to continue to provide a policing service in Minehead for many years to come.

“The new station will house an enquiry office to enable people to come and speak to us directly.

"It will also be the new home of our Neighbourhood Policing Team, who will continue to provide a visible policing presence in Minehead, working proactively to solve problems and support our community.”

A section of the new building will be leased back to the council. The site will deliver training to health and social care staff as part of the government’s Levelling Up programme to develop a Somerset Academy for Health and Social Care.

Cllr Ros Wyke, Somerset Council’s lead member for Economic Development, Planning and Assets, added: “It is great to see Somerset Council and Avon and Somerset Police working together to breath some new life into the Seahorse Centre in Minehead. 

"With the police now owning the building, and the forthcoming Somerset Academy annexe being planned, this move shows continued public sector commitment to Minehead and its surrounds."

Until the new station is ready, police staff will continue to work at the Townsend Road station, which will soon be advertised for sale. It is likely that this will be earmarked for a future residential scheme, subject to planning permission.

Residents can have their say about the planning proposals by April 18, 2024.