CHESTER-le-Street’s police station is here to stay, Durham’s Police and Crime Commissioner has said.

The building in Newcastle Road has undergone a major revamp but there have been rumours for some time that it will be closed.

Commissioner Ron Hogg said: "We have spent approximately £750,000 on refurbishing the police station and making it fit for use.

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“It is a clear statement that the station is here to stay to serve the local community.

“It will house a number of police officers and police staff who together continue to keep the public safe.

"The station will also house a response team, local crime investigation team and intelligence staff as well as the local neighbourhood policing team.

“There is also a front counter service available from 10am to 5pm, Monday to Friday where the public can go in and request services, as well as out-of-hours telephone access to the control room.

"There was never any intention that the police station was going to close and the refurbishment we have carried out is part of a wider programme of building improvements, which looked to make better use of space and saves money."

There is concern among some residents that the town is losing public facilities.

The Civic Centre, a stone’s throw from the police station, is due for demolition after closing last year.

The Post Office is looking at closing the town’s main post office and providing the service through a franchise operating from another building, and Roseberry College and Sixth Form at nearby Newfield, is being closed by Durham County Council, in the face of local opposition, because of falling rolls.