Summer meeting to discuss the future of Ely’s redundant courthouse after reports arrive many months late

THEY were months overdue - but reports about the future of Ely’s redundant historic courthouse have at last been issued.

A working group set up in the city to help steer the future of the Grade II listed building had expected Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunal Service to produce the documents last September - but the papers have only just been handed over to East Cambridgeshire District Council.

Now there are plans to hold a meeting at the end of July, to bring together interested parties to discover just what the reports reveal.

A spokesman from HMCTS said the papers were not public documents; but indicated that they would disclose the state of the structure and possible future uses.

When the courthouse closed back in March 2011 as part of a cost cutting exercise, a working group that included representatives of Ely Society, Ely Perspective and City of Ely Council, was created to consider the building’s future.

Chairman of Ely Society, Kevin Evans, said waiting for the documents had been frustrating.

“Unfortunately, old buildings do not like being left to mature, they need constant care,” he said. “I fear the hold up may have been detrimental to the fabric.”

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Mr Evans added: “Ely Society hopes the courthouse will be put to good use for the benefit of Ely. We would prefer it not to be a pizza parlour or a pub. We certainly welcome the arrival of the reports and hope they will give us the information we need.”

There had been suggestions that the building might be used by Ely Museum or the City of Ely Council.

District council leader , Cllr Peter Moakes, said: “We are currently reviewing the report we have received from the Ministry of Justice regarding the old Ely Magistrates building.

“ We are also organising a meeting of interested parties to discuss the report and the future of the building. We all want to protect this valuable and historic building so we will be exploring ways that it can be used for the benefit of the community.”