County Council secures court house and begins HQ modernisation

A major refurbishment and modernisation programme is about to begin at the historic Grade II listed headquarters of North Yorkshire County Council in Northallerton.

Court house in Northallerton

The work is part of a county-wide investment package of over £5m to rationalise the Council’s property portfolio. The programme will create modern and flexible workspaces to support frontline services more effectively, undertake essential maintenance work, and generate long-term savings.

Properties no longer needed are being either handed back to landlords or sold to generate funds that can be reinvested into the front-line.  In Northallerton alone, this will generate savings of over £170,000 every year by 2023.

As part of this programme the Council has acquired the recently closed magistrates court, which is situated on the County Hall campus, in a £450,000 purchase. This provides a further opportunity to rationalise overall office space to bring more staff onto the campus and in the short term serves to accommodate staff and council meetings  while County Hall is refurbished.  

“We objected to the closure of the court house when the Ministry of Justice consulted on the proposal as part of a national review of their facilities,” said County Councillor Carl Les, North Yorkshire’s Leader, “We felt it was vitally important for local people to have access to justice locally.  However once the Ministry made the decision to go ahead with the closure of the court in Northallerton we took the opportunity to retain the building as a civic asset and to help with our rationalisation and refurbishment property programme.

“Importantly, access to the existing court video link in the former court building is being maintained to support local access to justice.”

This story was published 7 June 2019