The Sessions House on Eastgate was built in 1874 and was originally home to Louth Magistrates’ Court, but following the mothballing of the Court in 2008 the building was left empty and without purpose.
However, on 2nd February 2011 Louth Town Council purchased the building and following minimal internal redecoration moved its offices, staff and possessions there in May 2011 to begin a new chapter of its history.
This new home for the Town Council provides much improved facilities for both staff and visitors and with the added advantage of providing the town with a community owned asset.
The Council’s limited accommodation at the Victorian town hall, once the property of the Town Council transferring into the ownership of East Lindsey District Council on local government re-organisation in 1974, had long been cramped and inadequate and Councillors had been looking out for more suitable accommodation for some time. So when the court service put the building, next to the former Police Station, on the market the Council was keen to explore the possibility of moving.
The old courthouse offers more spacious accommodation and provides security of tenure for the Town Council. The move also allows the Council to take better advantage of the opportunities offered by the new Localism Agenda.
Councillors are also keen to explore the idea of creating an information hub in the premises and a Family History Centre. The former courtroom, is now the main meeting room of the Council and enjoys much better acoustics than the council have previously been privy to. The room has already been used to stage school visits and Lincolnshire heritage open days. The old court room is now home to the unique Brown’s Panorama and other art works of the Town Council, which can be viewed by individuals and community groups on Wednesday and Friday mornings 10am to 1pm and at other times by request.
The quality of service provided by Louth Town Council has been substantially improved by working from more suitable premises and dedicated parking for service users, elected members and council officers. The increased office space has resulted in ratepayers enjoying greater privacy in particular when dealing with sensitive matters such as burials.
The Council intends to repay the cost of buying the building by 2021.