HEARTBEAT star Derek Fowlds was almost back on the beat when he when he performed the honours at the opening of a community office.

The actor plays a retired police sergeant-turned-publican in the hit series filmed at Goathland on the North York Moors.

He travelled across the county to Masham where the old police house has been transformed into the Mashamshire Community Office. Appropriately for the occasion, he cut a length of police tape to open the new centre, which has been created at an cost of about £150,000.

The office in Little Market Place now provides facilities for residents and visitors, including a tourist information point, a learning centre and meeting rooms. Retaining the building's old links is the local community police officer, who is based at the community office. A community care scheme led by Ripon Council for Voluntary Service will also be run from the office, as well as a pre-school playgroup and after-school club.