Salisbury’s Bourne Hill office, home to Wiltshire Council and Wiltshire Police services, has been handed back to the Salisbury recovery coordinating group (RCG) by Defra, following extensive testing and cleaning by specialist teams.
Following the nerve agent attack, the site is now clean and safe and the council is using the current closure as an opportunity to undertake refurbishment and improvements to the building over the summer period. This will include general maintenance, new fixtures and furnishings, and improvement to the office space layout; the result will be a better utilised space for both customers and staff.
The current arrangements for accessing services will continue and customers can access Wiltshire Council services, including customer services and the registrations service, in the old building at Bourne Hill (where the registration office is located); while the first point of contact to access police services will continue to be located at Salisbury Library, Market Walk, Salisbury SP1 1BL.
Alistair Cunningham, chair of the recovery coordinating group, said: “We’re pleased that Bourne Hill has been handed back as this marks another significant step in the city’s recovery and is further proof that the city is open and safe for residents and visitors.
“The building will now be refurbished over the summer months and will reopen following improvement work for the benefit of both visitors and staff.”
Paul Mills, Deputy Chief Constable for Wiltshire Police said: “It is positive and welcome news that Bourne Hill has been handed back to the recovery group following the thorough testing and cleaning that has taken place over recent weeks.
“We look forward to resuming policing services from Bourne Hill in due course once the refurbishment work has taken place. However, in the meantime, we continue to provide a police enquiry desk at Salisbury Library in the city centre from Monday-Saturday for the public to contact us.
“Our Community Policing team will continue to work out of the Five Rivers Health and Wellbeing Centre during this time, so members of the public may continue to notice an increased police presence around this centre as officers go about their daily business.”
A Defra spokesperson said: “The thorough work to decontaminate the Bourne Hill site has been successfully completed and we have handed the site back to Wiltshire Council.
“As with other sites, government scientists have carefully examined the clean-up work and found that Bourne Hill is safe to return to public use.
“This is the fourth site to be handed back as part of the ongoing operations and is great news for Salisbury and its residents.”
Bourne Hill is the fourth site to be handed back by the recovery coordinating group, following The Maltings shopping centre, Salisbury ambulance station and Amesbury ambulance station, marking another significant step in the recovery of Salisbury as it returns to normal.
Two remaining city centre sites; The Mill and Zizzi are currently being cleaned by specialist teams. Defra is overseeing the work based on expert advice, with support of specialist MOD personnel. The Skripal house is still under police investigation.