DETAILS have been revealed for a £10m redvelopment for the North-East's pioneering police facility, dubbed "murder mansion".

The UK's largest forensic teaching centre, at Harperley Hall, in Crook, County Durham, will become a police control centre and specialist facility for fighting crime.

Centrex, the Central Police Training and Development Authority, has acquired the hall for a three-year redevelopment.

The plans feature 80 bedrooms, ten classrooms, IT suites for imaging and fingerprint work, specialist teaching laboratory facilities and a practical training block to include scene modules, vehicle examination areas and a unique blood pattern analysis room with observation gallery.

Work starts in March next year and is due to finish in 2007.

Hilary Armstrong, the Government Chief Whip and MP for North-West Durham, said: "It will provide a lasting and permanent home for the National Training Centre (NTC) with world-class facilities. We in County Durham are immensely proud of the NTC and its contribution to the local economy."

Norman Bettison, chief executive of Centrex, said: "When completed, the site will provide a facility for specialist police training that will benefit police forces nationally and globally."

Centrex has leased Harperley Hall since 2002 to deliver forensic training through its NTC, but received the go-ahead to purchase the site from Durham Police Authority through an Office of Government Commerce gateway review at the end of March.

The NTC has established a national and international reputation for excellence.

NTC staff recently worked in Singapore, Botswana, Sierra Leone and Cyprus, as well as assisting Sri Lanka and Thailand following the tsunami disaster.

On completion of the redevelopment, Centrex's other two training facilities in the region - national fingerprint training at Aykley Heads and volume crime training at Spennymoor - will also be delivered at Harperley Hall.