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Gloucestershire Business News

Gloucestershire’s Nightingale Court extended

Gloucestershire's 'Nightingale Court', which had been set up at Cirencester to ease the backlog of criminal cases caused by the Covid pandemic, is to be extended, a judge has announced.

The Recorder of Gloucester, Judge Ian Lawrie KC told court staff and advocates on Friday (November 18) that his application to have the facility extended beyond March 31, 2023, had been approved.

The Cirencester Courthouse, which has two courtrooms, adjoins the town's main police station and was the local magistrates court for many years. It later became a reserve crown court at the turn of the millennium and has also served as Gloucestershire coroner's court.

However, in 2012 the building was closed and put in mothballs and stood empty until former Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl offered it as a Nightingale Court during the early days of the pandemic.

The Ministry of Justice has now accepted there is an ongoing need for the Cirencester Courthouse to be used as a Nightingale Court in Gloucester and negations were had with the owner of the building Chris Nelson, Gloucestershire's Police and Crime Commissioner to enable the operation to continue for a further year until the end of March 2024.

Judge Lawrie said: "In light of the current financial climate, this extension is a remarkable achievement, and it greatly takes the pressure off the court and its staff. We will be able to bring down the backlog of cases to a manageable number."

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