Spalding charity suffers setback after failed court bid

Spalding Magistrates Court appears to have been sold to a buyer or group other than a charity set up to keep it in community hands.
Spalding Magistrates Court appears to have been sold to a buyer or group other than a charity set up to keep it in community hands.
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A charity’s bid to take over the former Spalding Magistrates Court appears to have ended in failure after sellers accepted an “alternative offer”.

Spalding Court House Charity, set up in March and overseen by eight trustees from a range of businesses in the town, had put in a bid to the Ministry of Justice to buy the building and turn it into a “community asset”.

But trustees were told on Monday that another offer for the court building had been accepted by the government department headed by Justice Secretary Liz Truss.

Terry Moore, a trustee for Spalding Court House Charity, said: “We registered as a charity and then approached the Justice Secretary in London with a business case to take over the courthouse as a community asset for Spalding.

“We were then told that the building had received quite a lot of interest and that its future ownership would go out to bids.

“Our aim was to preserve the building for future generations, but we were told on Monday that our bid was unsuccessful.

COURT OFFER: Terry Moore of Spalding Court House Charity.  Photo by Tim Wilson.

COURT OFFER: Terry Moore of Spalding Court House Charity. Photo by Tim Wilson.

“We don’t know who the successful bidder is but it would be a shame for the building to be lost to Spalding if it’s gone to someone who is going to develop on the site.”

Spalding Magistrates Court ranks alongside Ayscoughfee Hall, St Mary and St Nicolas Church, the old Johnson Hospital and Chain Bridge Forge Museum as one of the town’s most well-known building, having been built in 1843.

No cases have been heard at the Grade II-listed building since January 2014 and its closure has saved the Ministry of Justice about £40,000 a year, compared to its estimated asset value of £200,000.

A statement from auctioneers Bilfinger GVA: “Following a detailed review of the responses received, our client has decided to proceed with an alternative offer.”

“Our aim was to preserve the building for future generations, but we were told on Monday that our bid was unsuccessful

Terry Moore, trustee for Spalding Court House Charity

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