Work has started on a new £39 million firearms training base.

The first sod was cut yesterday for the four-storey Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC) centre that includes live fire training arenas. 

It is set to be open in January 2018.

Located on a 14-acre site land close to Sellafield, the centre will train armed officers for the nuclear facility. It will be owned and developed by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and leased to the CNC.

Phil Bishop, chief superintendent at the CNC, said: “The construction of the new range is an exceptional example of working with our partners and engaging with the local community to ensure any adverse impact on residents will be minimised.

“The new training facilities represent an important and necessary step forward for the CNC, ensuring we continue to effectively deliver our mission of maintaining public safety and protecting civil nuclear sites.

“It will allow us to continue to meet the most stringent armed policing standards set by the College of Policing and UK government regulatory standards for the protection of nuclear sites such as Sellafield.”

Kenna Kintrea, the NDA’s assurance director, added: “This is a crucial facility for the constabulary in its support to the nuclear clean-up and decommissioning mission.”

Morgan Sindall, which built the Albion Square office complex in Whitehaven, will construct the facility with Deloitte Real Estate providing project management and cost consultancy support.