City council’s move into historic court house due

Ely's former magistrates' court

Ely's former magistrates' court - Credit: Archant

Ely’s defunct magistrates’ court will begin its new life as the home of the City of Ely Council, in February.

Mayor of Ely, Councillor Lis Every. Picture: Steve Williams.

Mayor of Ely, Councillor Lis Every. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

The mayor of Ely, Councillor Lis Every, said the council was in the final stages of renovating the building ahead of the anticipated February 12 move-in date.

The city council will vacate its current offices, in Market Street, and it is hoped that public meetings will begin in the former magistrates’ court later in the year.

Cllr Every said: “We are looking forward to the move. It has been a long time coming because it is a listed building and we have had to be very careful in how we have gone about renovating it.

“There have been a lot of people involved as the council would like to thank all of them for their help.”

The City of Ely Council took ownership of the building back in March 2013, purchasing the property for a nominal £1 sum.

The courthouse, which English Heritage say dates back to the 1820s, has stood empty since March 2011 when it was closed by the Ministry of Justice as part of a cost-cutting drive, with all cases sent to Cambridge Magistrates’ Court.

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As part of its wider plan, the city council hopes to include other community uses within the building, which could includes a museum and art gallery space, as well as music and concert facilities.