Wanted: A bidder to do this office justice

Alnwick Magistrates' Court at Alnwick Police Station..
Alnwick Magistrates' Court at Alnwick Police Station..
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It’s probably the safest place in Northumberland to work – but expect a knock on the door if you have a particularly noisy office party this Christmas.

The former magistrates’ court, above Alnwick Police Station, has gone up for sale through auctioneers Pugh & Co with an asking price of £20,000.

And for that, the buyer will get a fairly large office space of around 1,861 sq ft within the three-storey building.

Pugh & Co say the space could be 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.

Paul Thompson, director and auctioneer, said: “We are looking forward to our October auctions as we have received numerous instructions from local authorities, corporate clients, banks and receivers.

“The catalogue is already generating lots of inquiries and offers, so it promises to be another successful result.

“There has been quite of lot of interest in the magistrates’ court, so we’re hopeful it will sell at auction.”

It was back in June 2010 when Her Majesty’s Court Service’s (HMCS) and the Ministry of Justice announced plans to close 103 magistrates’ courts and 54 county courts as part of a cost-cutting review.

A challenge was launched by local campaigners, including Sir Alan Beith MP.

The lack of public transport in north Northumberland and accessibility to justice, the court’s ample facilities and the lack of savings to be made from closure were highlighted by those who responded.

The Gazette gained 681 signatures on a petition to save the court and 13 submissions opposed to its closure were also received. But by December the Government’s decision was made final.

Victims, witnesses, defendants and solicitors were told they would instead have to travel to Bedlington or Berwick for cases.

Alnwick’s mayor, Alan Symmonds, said: “I would have much preferred to see the court premises being used to extend positive initiatives to deter crime and promote the justice system in the Alnwick area, such as in the rehabilitation of offenders or working with young offenders.

“If somebody buys this office space, I hope it will bring benefits to the town.”

The auction will take place at the Newcastle Marriott at 7pm on Tuesday, October 23.