A new Surrey Police headquarters and operational base will be created in Leatherhead, the Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner announced today.

Surrey Police said that the former Electrical Research Association (ERA) and Cobham Industries site on Cleeve Road had been bought to replace a number of existing sites, including the current HQ at Mount Browne in Guildford.

The new site will become an operational hub housing specialist teams as well as chief officers and senior leadership team, support and training facilities, Surrey police said.

Linked to the Leatherhead move will be the sale of five sites in Surrey that units within the region's police force currently operate from.

These were the Mount Browne HQ, Woking and Reigate police stations, plus two sites at Burpham and Godstone, where Surrey Road Police Team and the Tactical Firearms Unit respectively are based. All five sites will move operations to be based out of the new location, Surrey Police said.

Despite the centralisation of Surrey Police teams under the new HQ site in Leatherhead, Surrey Police insisted that Neighbourhood Policing Teams would continue to operate from all eleven boroughs in the county, including Woking and Reigate.

The county's Police and Crime Commissioner David Munro said the new move would help the force maintain its service within the context of needing to save money in the longer term.

PCC Munro said: "We have looked carefully at the budget for the project and even taking into account the inevitable relocation costs involved, I am satisfied this investment will provide savings in the long-term.

"A police force’s most valuable asset is of course the officers and staff that work around the clock to keep our county safe and this move will provide them with a much better working environment and support."

The police and crime commissioner added that neighbourhood policing "will not be affected" in Woking and Reigate where police stations are due to close following the move.

Temporary Chief Constable Gavin Stephens also commented on the prospective move, highlighting the improvements to the force's infrastructure that could result from moving to the new location.

Mr Stephens said: "A state of the art operational base and HQ will enable us to better meet the challenges of modern policing, allow us to be innovative and ultimately provide an even better policing service for the Surrey public.

"Our existing sites are expensive to run and restrict the way we work...Our changes in location will not alter how we respond to, work with, and consider ourselves a part of, Surrey’s many communities."