Savills markets iconic civic buildings in Colchester
15 May 2012
Savills, on behalf of Colchester Borough Council, has brought to the market two of Colchester’s most iconic buildings – The Old Library and the Former Magistrates’ Courts. These Grade 1 Listed civic buildings offer a unique opportunity to any business looking to operate in the heart of the UK’s oldest recorded town. The adjacent buildings are available to let together on one agreement and boast bespoke architectural design by John Belcher.
Councillor Bill Frame, Chairman of the Colchester Task and Finish Group, is enthusiastic about the future use of the buildings and their potential role in the changing face of Colchester. “English Heritage has indicated that they would be sympathetic to some changes being made to the Courts so we are looking for innovative and interesting ideas for their future use. Together with the Old Library they create a fantastic opportunity right here in the centre of Colchester”
The buildings are located on West Stockwell Street, close to the town’s high street. The Old Library was completed in 1894 and totals 3,773 sq ft (350 sq m). At one end of the room is an elaborate bas-relief showing Queen Victoria at the Great Exhibition of 1851 inside the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park and at the other a large window with a stain glass depiction of the Borough coat of arms. Having ceased operating as the town library, the renovated, mainly open plan venue, comes complete with commercial kitchen and lends itself to public gatherings.
The Former Magistrates’ Courts were built in 1898 and comprise 6,586 sq ft (612 sq m) across two floors. Once part of the original Town Hall they have operated as a regional court until April 2012. The site provides law courts, six distinctive holding cells, a custody suite and office space.
Both properties are offered by way of a new lease at £75,000 per annum, although consideration may also be given to a long leasehold disposal (virtual freehold).
Chris Moody, Director at Savills Ipswich, comments: “The design and previous function of The Old Library and the Former Magistrates’ Courts ensures both assets are full of character and offer an established and historical significance. With a prime, town centre location both properties lend themselves well to a variety of diverse alternative uses, subject to the usual planning consents.”
Savills Grosvenor Hill
+44 (0) 1473 234 835