Millions of pounds are being spent replacing roofs, heating systems, windows, cladding and lifts at courts in Yorkshire and the north-east, the government has said, following a visit by the lord chancellor to inspect construction work on a £6.2m court and tribunal building in Leeds.

From a £220m two-year funding package to improve and maintain courts and tribunals across the country, the Ministry of Justice revealed that it is spending:

  • £7m to replace roofs at Skipton Court House, York Magistrates’ Court and Sunderland Magistrates’ Court;
  • Over £5m to replace heating systems and pipework at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court and Durham Crown Court;
  • Over £7m to replace windows and exterior cladding at Teesside Magistrates’ Court; and
  • £600,000 to replace lifts at York Magistrates’ Court, and Newcastle Sheffield and Grimsby combined courts.

The costs were revealed the day after Alex Chalk MP visited the new West Gate court and tribunal building in Leeds (pictured above), which is costing £6.2m. HM Courts & Tribunals Service has a 15-year lease. Work on the building, which will house 12 hearing rooms over three floors, commenced last year and will finish this spring.

The ministry said the new court will support Crown court capacity in Leeds by moving business and property court work away from Leeds Crown Court.

Chalk said: ‘These new state-of-the-art hearing rooms will be a hugely positive addition to Leeds city centre, positioning the city as a leading legal hub. By increasing capacity in the nearby Crown Court, we are also able to tackle more outstanding criminal cases, put victims first and bring more criminals to justice. This government is committed to delivering a modern court and tribunal estate that is truly fit for the future.’

While a new court will open shortly, the ministry was forced to close three courts last year after reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete was found.


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