A Birmingham police station that had its custody block mothballed in a cost-cutting drive has been chosen as the site for a big new cell block in the city.
Queens Road police station, Aston, has been identified as the preferred location for the new 60-cell block to house those arrested as part of police inquiries.
The development will replace the ageing facility at the city centre's Steelhouse Lane police station, which last year had a £610,000 makeover to bring it up to standard.
It is thought the old police station will be bulldozed as part of the development.
However, police have admitted that the site is not big enough and they are investigating the purchase of the adjacent former Rylands site.
Once operational, the block could handle dozens of suspects each day from across a huge swathe of the city and help save the force money by allowing it to close smaller custody blocks.
A similar super cell block has been proposed for Coseley to take suspects from the Black Country.
Details of the Queens Road schemes were contained in a budget report to West Midlands Police Authority.
It stated: “Though this site is in our ownership the site is barely adequate in area and as such we are investigating the possibility of acquiring the old Rylands site adjacent.
“The Aston site is ideally placed for custody provision. This investment is value for money as it gives estate rationalisation and improved facilities and particularly for firearms.”
Police chiefs are looking to share cell blocks with neighbouring forces in an unprecedented move to help stave off job losses and protect frontline policing.
West Midlands Police has held discussions with Staffordshire Police to share the use of prisoner cells at Sutton Coldfield and with West Mercia Police about sharing a custody block.
The cells at Tamworth are currently opened over the weekend only and those at Kidderminster and Redditch both need substantial improvements.