Ely: Magistrates Court

18 September 2012, 12:22 | Updated: 18 September 2012, 13:59

Plans are being created to bring Ely's historic Magistrates Court back into use.

The building, which is nearly 200 years old, has been empty since March 2011 when it was shut during Ministry of Justice cuts.

There have since been concerns about the condition of the historic building, which sits in the centre of Ely.

However, in a statement, East Cambridgeshire District Council said: "The various interested parties including: East Cambridgeshire District Council, City of Ely Council, Ely Perspective and others met on Tuesday 11 September and were first taken on a tour of the Courthouse to see, contrary to some reports, the building was in reasonable condition and was not in danger of becoming derelict."

Initial ideas to bring the building back into use include potentially turning it into a community cafe, education facility and heritage centre.

Work will now take place to look into the options that have been put forward for the building's use, with a further announcement in the autumn.

Councillor Peter Moakes, Leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: "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."

Anyone with further ideas or opinions can email them to lorraine.king@eastcambs.gov.uk or call on 01353 665555.