Richmond Magistrates Court, which closed earlier this year. Photography: This is Local London

Forty UK courthouses could become homes after they are handed over to the government’s Homes and Community Agency.

The underused and empty courthouses – including magistrate, crown, county and tribunal courts, mostly built in the 1970s – are currently owned by the HM Courts & Tribunals Service and are spread across the midlands and south of England.

HMCTS is preparing to ‘bulk transfer’ up to 40 of them to the government’s Homes and Community Agency for refurbishment or conversion into residential housing, according to Property Week.

Photography: Stephen McKay
Waltham Forest Magistrates Court. Photography: Stephen McKay

It is selling off a total 69 sites across the country, but this crop is by far the biggest and is expected to raise around £40m to fund investment in technology and judicial modernisation programmes.

The move follows the Ministry of Justice’s February announcement that it will close 86 courts across England and Wales after reviewing its real estate portfolio. Five magistrates courts have already been sold in London’s Waltham Forest, Bracknell and Dorking, Bridgewater and Wakefield.

Bow magistrates court
Photography: Edward

In related news, the Grade II-listed Bow Street Magistrates Court in London’s Covent Garden where the Kray Twins were famously tried has been sold for £125m.

[Via Property Week]



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