Court service opening Nightingale Court to help with backlog of cases caused by RAAC findings

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Two new courtrooms are set to open at Fleetwood Nightingale Court to help with the backlog of cases caused by RAAC findings.

In a move to make more court services accessible for the community and have more hearings locally, the Government has confirmed it will create two new courtrooms at Fleetwood Nightingale Court.

Two new courtrooms are set to open at Fleetwood Nightingale Court to help with the backlog of cases caused by RAAC findings. Two new courtrooms are set to open at Fleetwood Nightingale Court to help with the backlog of cases caused by RAAC findings.
Two new courtrooms are set to open at Fleetwood Nightingale Court to help with the backlog of cases caused by RAAC findings. | Google

Blackpool Magistrates' Court closed suddenly on Wednesday (November 2) due to the discovery of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) – a lighter and less durable form of concrete, used until the mid-1990s.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The closure caused chaos for Lancashire’s legal system as the court was dealing with cases from Preston Magistrates’ Court until it was also ordered to close due to the same building safety fears in September.

While Preston Magistrates has reopened, Blackpool Magistrates' Court has been permanently closed after it was deemed too costly to repair, following the discovery of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) which in turn left the town without a criminal court until 2026.

Blackpool Magistrates' Court has permanently closed after it was deemed too costly to repair following the discovery of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) last year. Blackpool Magistrates' Court has permanently closed after it was deemed too costly to repair following the discovery of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) last year.
Blackpool Magistrates' Court has permanently closed after it was deemed too costly to repair following the discovery of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) last year. | Google

This will mean more cases can be heard within the town and people will have less distance to travel. Currently, cases are being heard at Lancaster and Preston - a 30 to 45-minute drive away.

The news follows the reopening of cells at Lancaster Magistrates’ Court, which will mean custodial cases – where a defendant is coming to court from a police station or prison custody – will resume being heard there.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Join our new WhatsApp Community to get the latest news and top stories from across Lancashire directly to your phone Sign up for our free newsletters now Currently, these cases can only be listed at Blackburn and while cells were closed at Lancaster, only cases where the defendant was on bail could be heard.

Welcoming the news, 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.

“And we aren’t finished yet – we are investing in a multimillion-pound project in the heart of Blackpool so the local community will have a new, state-of-the-art building fit for the future.”

In addition, Blackpool Tribunals is moving to a new home on Market Street in the town centre.  Plans are also progressing to construct the new £40 million courthouse which will provide the community with a modern, state-of-the-art court building fit for the future from 2026.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.