Derbyshire Constabulary is using the former Chesterfield Hotel to train police dogs, it has emerged.
A sign in a window at the Malkin Street building warns that the animals are being trained there ‘day and night’.
A Derbyshire Constabulary spokesman said: “We’ve recently started using the empty building for training purposes.”
The Derbyshire Times asked if the force was paying to use the building, which is currently up for sale.
The spokesman refused to comment, saying: “We have a private agreement. You could submit a Freedom of Information request.” The Derbyshire Times has done this.
Forty-five members of staff lost their jobs when Chesterfield Hotel shut on January 31, 2015, and ex-employees are currently going through the employment tribunal process over alleged unpaid wages and redundancy payouts.
Meanwhile, customers who were left hundreds of pounds out of pocket when the hotel’s leisure centre closed in 2014 are still waiting for refunds.
The company which operated the hotel, GS Trading VI (Chesterfield) Ltd, has always refused to answer the Derbyshire Times’ questions about the unpaid money.
Chesterfield Hotel was a major employer and social venue for almost 140 years, making it one of the town’s longest-running businesses.
The prominent building was put on the market by Eddisons Commercial Ltd earlier this year.
The site is currently under constant security surveillance and boards cover a number of ground-floor windows which have been smashed by vandals.