Mossley’s Victorian police station goes under the hammer later this month unless last ditch plans to preserve the building for the community are approved.
The vacant Argyle Street premises will be auctioned on Thursday, April 21 at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium.
A guide price of £80,000 has been placed on the spacious empty building thought to have been erected 160 years ago.
Auctioneers Pugh & Company have already started viewings and Mossley Correspondent editor, Trevor Baxter, joined prospective bidders, including several builders and curious locals, for a behind-the-scenes look.
However, the top Mossley ‘cop shop’ could yet be pulled from sale. Lesley Bill, the Mayor of Mossley, has submitted a business plan to Greater Manchester Police that remained under consideration at the time of going to press.
Councillor Bill wants GMP to accept a peppercorn rent for the station, listed as lot 18, and lease the building back to the town.
Local police presence, headed by PC Martin Dench, has now transferred to Mossley Fire Station 100 yards away.
And Tony Lloyd, Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner, joined Jonathan Reynolds, MP for Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley, Dukinfield and Longdendale plus representatives of both emergency services in top Mossley to officially mark the occasion.
“Mossley Town Council have put forward a business plan and are meeting with our chief executive for discussions,” confirmed Lloyd.
“But this move is great. The old station was not fit for policing in the area but they are now in a more modern building and that is better for both the officers and the community
“It is in a great position and helps the officers work better together with all the services linked in one place.
“It is also better for tax payers as it saves them money as we are no longer paying to run two buildings.”
GMP have already sold stations at Ramsbottom (£226,000), Failsworth (£190,000) and Northenden (£217,000).
PC Dench, supported by two Police Community Service Officers, said of the transfer of sites: “For me, there are massive benefits and I am looking forward to the changes.
“We have a fantastic relationship with our fire service colleagues and have worked on other things in the past.
“The old place has been here since the year dot and it is a great building. So, it is sad to leave because we’ve got some great memories.
“However, times change and we have to move on. It’s an exciting time.”
Mr Reynolds, is delighted a police presence will remain in the town despite the closure of the station. But he has welcomed the Town Council’s initiative.
“There is a lot of pressure on public services and clearly the government has an agenda to cut the money it spends on public services,” said Mr Reynolds.
“For me the Police and Fire Service are two very different services. But if there is a way they can work together so we can maintain that provision in Mossley, that is important to me. It is something that people really care about round here.
“Across my constituency we have a lot of public buildings that are legacies of the former Urban District Councils and if they can be used by the public it is really welcome.
“But you can’t just run it on sentiment. You can’t just keep something if you haven’t got a strong use for it. If it can be done, then it should certainly be looked at.”
One of the first viewers was Mossley post woman, Jill Cox. “I can see it being sold and made into flats,” she said. “It’s a massive building in a prime location for schools, shops and not far from the train station.
“When the police were here, it was always hit and miss if it was open. So, you can understand why it’s being sold.”