A group of business people hoping to take over the former Spalding Court House have outlined their bid for the community hub on an ‘asset transfer basis’.
In a letter submitted to the Justice Department, the Justice Minister and South Holland MP John Hayes, the group lay out their plans to ‘provide a sustainable community hub to strengthen and enhance the lives of the people of South Holland and the community in which we live’.
The letter, from the trustees of the Spalding Court House Charity, states: “The trustees believe this building to be a tremendous asset to the 30,000 population of Spalding town and the wider community of South Holland.
“We feel a sense of pride and obligation to preserve this beautiful and significantly historic building and utilise its significant presence in the town to further the endeavours of South Holland District Council and Lincolnshire County Council to achieve the National Indicator community targets to which they have subscribed.”
The charity hopes to provide office space to local charity and voluntary organisations, including the Royal British Legion, as well as a cafeteria and a place to help people who are less fortunate.
It is hoped the charity and building will provide a ‘centre of education to local community groups, schools and colleges by opening the historical parts of the building for tours, mock trials and moots – historic meetings of political and judicial leaders.
The plan will also look to meet the needs of the 2016 local plan by: ‘building social partnerships; engaging individuals, families, businesses and charities; bring community and voluntary groups together in a way that is not yet possible; provide volunteering opportunities to allow people to see the difference they can make to the community in which they live and work; promote and develop businesses and partnerships to align with the social needs and responsibilities and bring together advice and expertise from all sectors of the community’.
The letter states: “The Magistrates building has been a significant feature of the life, history and townscape of the town of Spalding and South Holland since it was built in 1843.“
Chairman of the trustees committee Terry Moore said the organisation had had feedback from its agent clarifying its position, which he said was ‘encouraging’.