Fenland Magistrates Court to close on March 23 as MP urges council to keep building in use

FENLAND Magistrates will sit for the final time on March 23 as the historic courthouse in Wisbech becomes the latest victim of Government cuts.

Her Majesty’s Court Service (HMCS) announced in December that the impressive court, which opened in 1957, was to be closed. Despite a campaign to save the court there will be a formal closing ceremony in around three weeks which will be attended by dignitaries including the Lord-Lieutenant for Cambridgshire, Hugh Duberly Esq.

NE Cambs MP Steve Barclay has urged Fenland District Council to look proactively at how best to use the historic courthouse in Wisbech so the town can continue to benefit from the site.

He said: “Too often prime sites like these are simply turned into flats and an opportunity to improve the wider local area is missed.

“I would not like to see it closed and boarded up or indeed turned into something that would not benefit the town. The court’s location is such that it could be a potential winner for the area.

“I would support any project that has the capacity to promote and improve the town’s standing as ‘The Capital of the Fens’ and which may provide greater encouragement for local people and tourists to visit, stay and sample its historic hospitality.”

The Fenland Branch of magistrates had used the building several days per week since the branch was formed in the 1990s.

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HMCS plans to divide the area’s future cases between King’s Lynn, Peterborough and Huntingdon, leaving Fenland without a courthouse.

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