Project Description

Blackpool Police headquarters


A 42 cell custodial suite with ancillary rooms and grey concrete façade around the perimeter.


Utilisation of BIM design to achieve the complex radial layout of the custody suite ensured that all individual precast units and units connections were correct, enabling a first time fit on site.


High quality grey concrete sandwich panels around the curved perimeter provided an architecturally pleasing finish. The direct decoration standard of finish to concrete within the corridors and the cells removed the need for tiling.


Fully constructed in seven weeks with an average number of nine site operatives present per day.

Custody Suite for Lancashire Constabulary

PCE Ltd recently provided the custody suite for the new Police Headquarters for Lancashire Constabulary‘s West Division at Blackpool.

PCE was appointed by main contractor Willmott Dixon as specialist on a design and build basis to provide a single level custody suite building to the rear of the new Lancashire Constabulary West Division headquarters situated on Clifton Road in Blackpool.

Offsite engineered precast units

The 1,020m² custody suite consists of

  • 95 internal walls
  • 26 corridor walls
  • 52 duct units
  • 87 solid slabs.

All of the above units were manufactured in precast reinforced concrete offsite to the high quality specifications required by the client and PCE’s own quality processes.

A key feature of the erection process is the safe and careful turning of units from their delivery position to that required for installation into the structure (see images above).

Project timetable

Production of the precast units began four months after the commencement of the detailed design work.

The erection period on site – including finishing – took eight weeks, with the maximum number of PCE staff on site at any time being a mere twelve.

“We were pleased to be working again with Willmott Dixon on such a project as the synergy between our two companies always provides a first class outcome for the client, which is important and satisfying. Our combined approach to providing quality with speed of construction whilst maintaining the highest possible levels of Health and Safety, is a credit to the employees of both companies”

Nickie Brown, Managing Director of PCE.

Curved construction

The aerial image (above) shows the external 5m high sandwich panels, exercise areas and slabs sitting on the internal walls. A clear line of vision is essential to enable a clear line of vision for all corridors from the charge desk area.

The other external views show the type C finished sandwich panels which achieved a U-value of 0.27W/m²K.  Window openings were cast in for site fit-out of window units at a later date.

The M & E openings were also incorporated into design and manufacture to allow louvres to pass through on the first floor.

Location: Blackpool, UK
Main Contractor: Willmott Dixon

The leading international and interdisciplinary property consultants McBains Cooper provided architectural and engineering design services for Lancashire Constabulary.

The new state of the art headquarters replaced the old Bonny Street Police Station.

Willmott Dixon operations director Richard Wright, said of the client, Lancashire Police’s requirement,

“What they wanted was an iconic building that provides something that’s a long-term icon for Lancashire Police to say,‘We are investing,and this area is important to us.’

Offsite engineered precast concrete units installed at police HQ