THE QUEEN’S representative in Hampshire did the official opening honours at Basingstoke’s revamped law courts.
Hampshire Lord Lieutenant Dame Mary Fagan, District Judge David Karney, and Basingstoke and Deane Mayor Councillor Martin Biermann were among more than 100 dignitaries at the high-profile event.
The new complex includes four courtrooms, bigger cells connected to Basingstoke police station, a new waiting room, and improved disabled access.
The main entrance has been moved from the south side of the building to the west, with pedestrian access from New Road.
A separate entrance for witnesses has also been created. The revamp also brings the magistrates court and the civil county court under one roof.
Dame Mary, who unveiled a plaque at the opening, said she was pleased with the court’s overhaul.
“I have watched this building develop, and I remember what it was like before,” she said.
“I am delighted to open this new law court, which will enhance the administration of justice in Hampshire.”
“I think it is a splendid court,” said Judge Karney.
“It is marvellous to have both magistrates and the judges in the same building.
“It is much better for Basingstoke, and the court service.”
The court reopened for business on October 1 after being closed for more than a year.
During the revamp, magistrate court hearings were shipped out to Winchester, Aldershot, and Andover.