The projected annual operating cost of Limavady courthouse, based on its current opening schedule, is £97,000, including utility charges, premises related costs, service charges and general administrative costs (excluding salaries), according to Justice Minister David Ford.
The information was revealed in the response from the minister to a question asked by TUV MLA Jim Allister.
Mr. Ford also revealed the estimated capital expenditure required to ensure Limavady courthouse is fit for purpose in future years is £328,500, which includes disability discrimination act compliance and a condition survey. Of the five courthouses that could close, Limavady is the cheapest to upgrade.
“Following any decision to close a Hearing Centre a reduced planned maintenance programme would be established. Each building would be surveyed prior to closure to agree the necessary maintenance works and the associated cost. Aside from these planned maintenance works, any budget allocation would also include on-going premises costs such as rates charges, utilities and minor reactive maintenance works,” said the minister.
The estimated annual premises costs following closure for Limavady courthouse would be £3,300, according to Mr. Ford.
“It is recognised that there may be a need for further expenditure to respond to particular maintenance issues that may arise. My Department has no plans to make alternative use of the Hearing Centres should they be permanently closed. In the first instance each venue would be offered to other Departments to utilise and, if not required, may be placed on the open market. Approval for the sale of any of the Hearing Centres would be subject to a business case approved by the Department of Finance & Personnel and would reflect the market price at that time.”