Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Edinburgh Live
Edinburgh Live
Marie Sharp

East Lothian police plans for court house move delayed by budget cuts

Police plans to move 300ft from their current station into a former sheriff court building have been hit with delays after £1.5million in funding was removed from East Lothian Council's budget.

The local authority took ownership of the Haddington Sheriff Court building in 2015 after the Scottish Courts Service closed it along with a number of other rural courts.

But the court rooms have remained vacant ever since, and plans to carry out refurbishment work ahead of the move this year have now been put back.

READ MORE: East Lothian Council write-off almost £5000,000 in bad debt as businesses go bust

East Lothian Council said the money, which was part of £1.74m set to be spent on the building during this financial year has been 'reprofiled' as part of measures set out at a special council meeting last month which saw capital projects 'slowed' to tackle a £5million budget deficit in this year's finance.

Police Scotland first confirmed it was in talks with the local authority over moving into a new 'emergency hub' and closing Haddington Police Station, which is on the same street, a year after the court closed.

Successive chief inspectors in East Lothian have reaffirmed their support for the project and in 2019 the Chief Inspector Steven Duncan said officers expected to move into the building within three years.

The large court in the centre of the building was set to become the new operations room for police officers with other emergency services and vital council officers working in the building alongside them.

The move was intended to create a multi-agency approach which Police Scotland said would help public services run more efficiently.

East Lothian Council backed the move taking on responsibility for the estimated £1.4million initial cost of converting the space before leasing it to Police Scotland.

However that was before the pandemic and it is understood costs are believed to have spiralled after the building lay virtually unused for at least three years with some areas not touched since the court moved out eight years ago.

Police Scotland said they are still committed to moving into the former court house.

Chief Inspector Jocelyn O’Connor, Local Area Commander for East Lothian said: “We remain fully committed to the co-location project in Haddington and the development of the new facility is continuing."

An East Lothian Council spokesperson said: “The capital budget is being re-profiled and aligned following the outcome of the special council meeting to meet the acute financial challenges faced.

“Police Scotland and council officers continue to meet, however, the requirement to retender means that the timeline has not yet been determined.”


East Lothian school exams to go ahead despite strike action

New East Lothian schools plan to be 'slowed' as council looks to cut costs

East Lothian business retreat will ruin 'tranquil' setting, objectors claim

Flooding stops East Lothian housing development as builder told to fix issues

East Lothian farmer ordered to remove racetrack from land after residents complain

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.