Future of Ely Magistrates' Court remains undecided despite latest meeting

PUBLISHED: 14:27 18 September 2012

Ely Magistrates Court Closes.

Ely Magistrates Court Closes.

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COUNCIL leader Peter Moakes has spoken of "our challenge" in finding a community use for the redundant Ely courthouse.

COUNCIL leader Peter Moakes has spoken of “our challenge” in finding a community use for the redundant Ely courthouse.

Cllr Moakes, leader of East Cambs District Council, was speaking after a fact finding tour of the building last week.

“It was heartening to meet last week with so many people who genuinely care about the future of Ely’s Magistrates Court.

“We had a very instructive tour of the building which revealed it is still in very good shape and then we had a great discussion about the future use of the courthouse.

“It is a wonderful building which has a varied history as a police station, crown court and a shire hall – our challenge is now to work together to ensure in the years to come the building is of real use to our community.”

Work will now take place to weigh up the viability of the various options before everyone the interested parties meet again in the autumn.

Last week’s meeting included representatives from East Cambridgeshire District Council, the City of Ely Council and Ely Perspective and they discussed ways in which the building, closed in 2011, could be brought back into use.

Several options for the building, including housing heritage items or for use for education or as a community café were discussed.

And, though a commercial use was not dismissed, there was a strong desire among those present for the courthouse to remain open to the public.

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