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City to become ‘beating legal heart of the North’

Court and tribunal capacity in Leeds is set to be boosted by the opening of new courts and tribunals in the city centre.

The new West Gate court and tribunal building in Leeds has been funded through the Government’s increased investment in the court and tribunal estate across England and Wales.

A total of £6.2m has been invested in West Gate to create capacity for 12 hearing rooms over three floors. It expands the estate in the city to 53 court or hearing rooms within a 250-yards radius.

The building at West Gate includes space for eight new, fit-for-purpose employment tribunal rooms.

In addition, construction work is underway to create four new Business & Property Court rooms. They will provide a dedicated space for cases to be heard from business disputes to evictions.

The Lord Chancellor, Alex Chalk, said: “These new state-of-the-art hearing rooms will be a hugely positive addition to Leeds city centre, positioning the city as a leading legal hub.

“By increasing capacity in the nearby Crown Court, we are also able to tackle more outstanding criminal cases, put victims first and bring more criminals to justice.

“This Government is committed to delivering a modern court and tribunal estate that is truly fit for the future.”

The court will also support increased Crown Court capacity in the city, by moving the Business & Property Court work away from Leeds Crown Court, where it is currently situated, to help deliver justice swiftly for victims and defendants.

The newly refurbished site in the city’s West Gate district is one of a number of sites in Yorkshire to benefit from part of a two-year funding package worth £220m.

More widely, some of this funding and the work it is enabling includes:

  • £7m to replace roofs at Skipton Court House, York Magistrates’ Court and Sunderland Magistrates’ Court
    Over £5m in replacing heating systems and pipework at Sheffield Magistrates Court and Durham Crown Court
    £600,000 to replace lifts at York Magistrates’ Court, Newcastle Combined Court, Sheffield Combined Court and Grimsby Combined Court

By increasing capacity and minimising unplanned maintenance, the Government says it is tackling outstanding cases and ensuring more hearings can go ahead.