Legion could march to the court building next year

News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk, @LincsFreePress on Twitter

News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk, @LincsFreePress on Twitter

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Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling is “extremely sympathetic” to Spalding branch of The Royal British Legion (RBL) moving in to the town’s closed magistrates’ courthouse.

South Holland and The Deepings MP John Hayes and Spalding branch RBL president Terry Moore had talks with Mr Grayling in London on Wednesday.

Mr Hayes said: “Mr Grayling said ‘I can’t make any promises, but I am extremely sympathetic and supportive of this idea’ and he instructed the court service accordingly.”

Once the branch has inspected the building – and if it’s found suitable – it’s likely there will be talks between the court service and the RBL nationally and locally to seal a deal.

Mr Moore said: “As a branch, we are going to have a walk around the court some time after Christmas to make sure the building is fit for purpose for us. It’s the branch now that needs to make the decision. In principle the building looks as though it will meet our needs.

“It’s actually a very good idea, I think, to use a building of that stature – I think it would be wrong to leave it empty.

“I think John Hayes has done a fantastic job on putting this together very quickly. We only spoke about it a couple of weeks ago.”

If the RBL branch takes over the building, it could be the lead organisation sharing the court alongside other charities. The RBL is likely to sell its Spring Gardens base if it moves.

• Boston’s almost identical court building has stood empty for eight years costing taxpayers thousands of pounds in maintenance.