AN £8M firearms and public order unit is almost complete at the rear of the Cheshire Constabulary headquarters.
The project follows a 2007 review of the police training required to protect the people of Cheshire and contribute to the regional and national response to the threat of terrorism.
Its primary function is to allow firearms and public order officers to train in a purpose built environment at the Winsford headquarters.
The facility includes a 100m firing range plus training facilities for public order, personal safety and Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) incidents and classrooms.
At present training is provided over a number of sites in Cheshire and across the country. Financial savings will be made as officers will no longer have to travel out of the force area or hire alternative facilities.
The centre will also be available for hire by other forces. It will support the training required for the 2012 London Olympics.
Cheshire Police Authority gave the go-ahead for the Operational Training Centre in February 2008 but it has been subject to delays due to the insolvency of the previous contractor.
Construction commenced in August 2008 and it is anticipated it will be finished in April, with training expected to begin the following month after the necessary inspections and certifications.
The authority has invested £8 million in building the centre which has been mainly provided from Government grants and the sale of surplus assets.
Cheshire Police Authority is an independent body responsible for ensuring Cheshire Constabulary delivers an efficient and effective police service. It is made up of 17 local people including nine councillors and eight residents.