Court Closures

February 2018

Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) operates 460courts and tribunals across England and Wales. The estate, which they occupy, costs taxpayers around half a billion pounds each year, and, at present, it is underused. In 2015, 48 per cent of all 460 courts and tribunals were empty for at least half their available hearing time. These buildings are expensive to maintain yet unsuitable for modern technology.

Having considered carefully all responses to a public consultation, the Government has therefore decided to close 86 of the 91 courts and tribunals under consideration for closure. Sixty-four sites will close as proposed in the consultation. A further 22 closures will take place but with changes to the original proposals. These changes, many suggested by respondents, include the identification of suitable alternative venues, such as local civic buildings; or different venues in the HMCTS estate to those originally proposed. 

You can read the Government's full response here:

It is also important to note that, even after these changes, over 97 per cent of citizens will still be able to reach their required court within an hour’s drive.