Plans to transform former court rooms in Warwick are one step closer to becoming a reality.
As we reported last week, the Old Shire Hall and Judges’ House in Northgate Street are set to be transformed into an events venue.
The plans were put to Warwick Town Council at a planning meeting on Monday where councillors unanimously supported the application.
The proposal will now go before Warwick District Council’s planning committee, although no date has been set for this yet.
The Grade I-listed building has mainly been unused except for civic and ceremonial events after the courts moved to Leamington in 2010.
In April 2016 Warwickshire County Council adopted plans to set up a hospitality company, which will operate as an ‘arms length’ company for events and venue management over 10 years.
Proposed work for the building includes installing toilets, sound-proofing and CCTV.
There are also plans to modify the building to include disabled access and to make changes so that it can be used for weddings. This work includes changing the rear gate and garage next to the Judges’ House to provide an entrance for brides.
Warwick town councillor John Holland said: “Councils across the county are left with these buildings that they can’t find a use for.
“These really important buildings are just falling into decay, we in Warwick have done really well to find alternative uses.
“The planning application is a small part of the scheme. The whole aim of the project is to run a venue to generate income to maintain the cost of running the building.
“In Warwick we have the ballroom above the council chamber, we have the Leycester Hospital and hopefully soon the old Shire hall. They are all different venues with different capacities and they all function together rather than compete.
“The application is good for town centre economy as it brings people into the centre of Warwick and they may come back as visitors on another day.”