Capacity boost for Fleetwood after Blackpool court condemned

The government has moved to ease court capacity issues in west Lancashire following last year’s discovery of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) in Blackpool.

Two new courtrooms will open later this year at Fleetwood Nightingale Court nearby, meaning more cases can be heard locally and people will have less far to travel, the Ministry of Justice announced. Blackpool Tribunals, meanwhile, is moving to a new location on Market Street in the town centre.

Blackpool Magistrates’ and County Court was one of eight buildings across the country closed over the presence of RAAC. The site was permanently condemned in January. Cases in and around Blackpool are currently being heard at Lancaster and Preston, 38 and 17 miles away respectively.

A new £40m court house in Blackpool, one of England’s most deprived towns, is scheduled to open in 2026.

Separately, cells have reopened at Lancaster Magistrates’ Court, meaning custodial cases will resume being heard there. Currently, these cases can only be listed at Blackburn.

Justice Minister Mike Freer said: ‘These plans will bolster court capacity locally, meaning more cases can be listed and the community can access vital services closer to their home.’

Fleetwood, one of the temporary courtroom venues first introduced in the pandemic, is one of several Nightingale courts set to remain open until 2025. 


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