A ‘For Sale’ sign has appeared outside Spalding’s historic court despite a group of business professionals making a cash offer to buy it.
Terry Moore, president of Spalding branch of The Royal British Legion (RBL), revealed in December that the group will form a charitable trust to raise funds to buy and renovate the magistrates’ court if the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) accepts their offer.
Mr Moore believes the group is still in with a good chance of acquiring it while the MoJ tests the water on its market value.
He said: “It is something the justice department want to do to see if they are getting good value for the taxpayer.”
Mr Moore is still waiting to hear from the justice department on the next step.
The court heard its last case in December 2013 and since then there has been a campaign to bring it back to life and put it to community use, including a base for the RBL branch.
In December Mr Moore said the aim of the professionals who made the offer is to preserve the courthouse “for the future generations of Spalding, benefiting the community for many years to come”.
Spalding town centre manager Dennis Hannant wants the court building saved so it can be “usable by people in the town” and believes it must have some commerical aspect to pay its way even if it is retained for community groups.
• Within a hundred yards of the court, the old sorting office remains an increasingly derelict eyesore although it has planning consent for flats. Mr Hannant says it could have lots of potential uses, including an indoor market, but understands it is now owned by an overseas consortium who may just be “hanging on until the price of land goes up”.