Police in Alnwick have no need to worry about who moves in next door now as they are the owners of the town’s former Magistrates’ Court.
Last October, the Gazette reported that the court, above Alnwick Police Station, went up for sale through auctioneers Pugh & Co with an asking price of £20,000.
It offered a fairly large office space of 1,861 sq ft within the three-storey building.
Pugh & Co said the space was suitable for all types of clerical activity – perhaps in conjunction with the police or used as a solicitors – but it could be adaptable to a range of other business uses.
But when it came up for auction on Tyneside, bidders did come forward but the lot failed to reach its guide price.
Now the police are the owners of the building.
A Northumbria Police spokesman said: “The freehold of the building already belongs to the Police & Crime Commissioner having passed to her automatically on the demise of Northumbria Police Authority, but part of it was leased to HM Courts Service.
“Following the closure of the court, the police authority decided to buy back the Court Service’s interest in the property.
“The public will see no change to the service they receive.”
It was back in June 2010 when Her Majesty’s Court Services and the Ministry of Justice announced plans to close 103 magistrates’ courts and 54 county courts as part of a cost-cutting review.
Despite protests and a Gazette-run petition, the decision was finalised in December that year.
And after 400 years of dispensing justice in north Northumberland, the court heard its last case and closed its doors on Friday, April 1.