GREENOCK police station was earmarked for closure after top brass baulked at a £2.3 million price tag for upgrading the Rue End Street base, the Telegraph can reveal.

The decision was taken amid mounting financial pressures and a reported cost of £650,000 a year just to maintain the Inverclyde HQ.

But Police Scotland has insisted that the proposed closure of the station will have no negative impact on the number of operational officers in the district.

An online consultation, which went live last week and is seeking views from the public on a plan to shut the hub, states that there will be 'no change' to the police roll in Inverclyde as a result of the estate revamp.

However, questions remain over whether any new station will have a custody suite for holding arrested people.

Retired Superintendent Debbie Reilly - a former area police commander for Inverclyde - said recently: "If a closure goes ahead, arrested persons will be taken to Glasgow thereby depriving Inverclyde of officers for many hours as they transport prisoners to custody suites elsewhere."

She added: "Budget cuts are essential but closing an entire office and custody suite with no detail on the alternative could significantly harm public trust and confidence in policing in Inverclyde."

The Greenock station currently has one of the largest custody suites in the country, and this was subject to a major upgrade in 2018.

It is one of 29 police buildings - including Paisley, Dumbarton and Stewart Street in Glasgow - across the country that have been earmarked for disposal, however, the absence of further details on alternative solutions has prompted questions and worry over the force's future in the district.

Evaluating the condition of the local hub, the consultation states it is 'poor' and 'showing major defects and/or not operating adequately'.

Greenock Telegraph: Greenock police office is set to be shut and relocatedGreenock police office is set to be shut and relocated (Image: NQ)

The annual running cost of the current base is around £650,000, while the forecast expenditure that would be required to bring the station to an acceptable standard is more than £2.3 million, according to the consultation document.

The survey says Greenock, along with stations in Ayr and Oban, has been the force's 'highest priority' in terms of identifying alternatives that are 'fit for 21st century policing'.

READ MORE: Councillor critical of 'half-baked' proposal for Greenock police station future

Police Scotland delivered a new hub at Newton House in Ayr earlier this year and a new-build station is proposed for Oban that would see the service co-locate with other public sector partners.

The consultation says: "We are now turning our attention to Greenock where we are exploring options for a new Greenock police station and proposing to close the 'old' Greenock police station at Rue End Street.

"There will be no change to the current levels of police presence in Inverclyde and there will be no change to the current number of operational officers in Inverclyde as a result of the proposed closure and relocation.

Greenock Telegraph: Greenock police office on Rue End StreetGreenock police office on Rue End Street (Image: Street View)

"Greenock police station as it stands is in a poor and deteriorating condition, it is no longer fit for purpose and is no longer affordable to operate and maintain.

"It is our intention to relocate to a new Greenock police station and options are currently being explored.

"If financial resource was available, we would propose to direct that investment into a new Greenock police station and not into a building which is now aged, deteriorating, no longer fit for purpose, costly to maintain and located in isolation from our partners.

READ MOREPolice Scotland confirms closure plan for Greenock station

"We will not leave this building until a new location is confirmed in Greenock."

Police Scotland says that a public front counter would remain in place at any new location and that discussions are ongoing regarding the provision of a custody suite on site.

The survey adds: "Police Scotland, like all public services, must use our resources effectively to deliver excellent services that the people of Scotland can rely on.

"This means that we have to carefully consider the appropriateness of maintaining some buildings that are not required or no longer fit for purpose.

"As per our estate strategy, it is our intention to reduce our physical and environmental footprints; to provide modern, energy-efficient and affordable working environments for our officers and staff to enhance their wellbeing, morale and service delivery; and to remain visible, accessible and present within communities."

Visit to respond to the online survey before the March closing date.