South Yorkshire Police plan to close three ‘outdated and inefficient’ custody suites and replace them with a new £19m single site.
The force is launching a consultation on the proposals to build a new centre which would be capable of housing up to 50 prisoners at a time on land at Shepcote Lane, near Meadowhall in Sheffield.
If given the go-ahead, it would be a replacement for existing buildings in Sheffield city centre, Ecclesfield and Rotherham.
The proposed scheme will be submitted officially for planning permission to Sheffield Council next month, with the site potentially opening in summer 2016.
It is hoped the new site would save the force £1.2 million per year through reduced staff costs.
The building will also operate as a base for investigative officers and police partner agencies.
The force needs to save £42 million by 2016, and has delivered about £23 million of savings so far, with a further £19 million to come.
There will be no public access counter at the new site, with people encouraged to report crimes by calling either 999 or 101.
Chief Superintendent Rob Odell said: “The force has to make significant savings from its total budget but at the same time we need a workforce properly equipped to tackle crime and protect the public.
“Creating modern, more cost effective custody suites for Rotherham/Sheffield and for Barnsley is just one part of this process and given the size and scale of the proposed sites, we expect the overall budget will be in the region of £19m.
“We anticipate that replacing three existing properties within Rotherham and Sheffield with one purpose-built facility will deliver annual savings of approximately £1.2m. The majority of this will come from a reduction in staffing but there will be other revenue savings and energy efficiencies too.
“We are consulting regularly with the staff affected, who are mainly custody sergeants and detention officers, and we hope to achieve the savings through natural wastage.”