18-Sept-2014

Owners of Southport's former law courts find buyer for unwanted wooden legal benches

 

Edge Hill University has snapped up the furniture in a bid to build their own court room for legal students

 
The furniture sold by Access Point will be used to build a court room at Edge Hill University

 

Furniture from Southport’s former magistrates courts has been snapped up by Edge Hill University, with plans to build its own courtroom.

 

Access Point Ltd became the new owner of the former courts on Albert Road when the company purchased the premises in May.

 

The resort-based retail promotion company, headed by co-owners David and Amanda Robertshaw and Jeanette Morgan, decided to sell off some of the American oak courtroom items that they were not going to need.

 

Now the legal benches, debating stand and judge’s desk from Court No 2 will be used to train solicitors and legal professionals after they were sold to Edge Hill University.

 

A spokesperson for the university said: “The reputation of Edge Hill University’s law degree programmes has been growing steadily.

 

“We are committed to providing students with practical and useful experiences to supplement their academic activities.

 

“This has led us to establish a pro bono legal advice centre where students, under expert supervision, provide free legal advice for the local community.

 

“The acquisition of the beautiful American oak furniture will enable the university to replicate a courtroom in which students can train and practise their mooting skills, increasing their confidence and enhancing their public speaking.”

 

Access Point owners, left to right, Amanda and David Robertshaw and Jeanette Morgan
 

Last month the wooden furniture from court rooms two and three was listed on Ebay at a sale price of £3,000.

 

Access Point bosses had hoped the items would be purchased by a local buyer.

 

The company will be keeping Court No 1 in its original state, with a view to renting it out to film companies.

 

Access Point co-owner David Robertshaw said: “I think it is wonderful that the furniture is being re-purposed and used to train the next generation of solicitors and lawyers coming through.

 

“It fits really well within the environs of where we are as a company and is not going too far away and will be used to train people who are in and around Southport – so we are really pleased.”

 

Edge Hill University will be picking up the furniture from Court No 2 this week and hope to have their own courtroom functioning within 18 months.

 

The resort-based advertising company have also come up with a novel way to use the surplus furniture from Court No 3 that they were unable to sell.

 

David added: “We are going to turn the judges‘ bench into a bar that we can use when we have events in the foyer. “We will also be turning the other benches into a table that will be in our new meeting room.

 

“So everything is staying local and being repurposed.  He added: ‘‘We have an attachment to the area unlike the big national companies – and we did not want people losing this part of Southport’s history.”

 

By Georgina Stubbs - Southport Visiter