Reopening the Courtroom
Order Order… Gravesend’s Courtroom re-opens and available to hire
Our building is located in King Street next to the Goose pub, you might have walked past it and not even realised it’s there – it blends effortlessly into the high street, like the entrance to Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley.
Things have been changing here during the past three years though. A new lease of life was handed to the building from local charity the Alpha Foundation who bought the building in 2011.
The building had been empty for eight years until it was purchased and needed major modernisation and changes from the original set-up as a courthouse.
Renovations started in 2011 making the front half of the Courthouse useable again. The changes provided a café area, a new mezzanine floor, two meeting rooms, toilets and a staff kitchen.
And now we’re working to open another part and making accessible to the public and businesses to use.
The beginning of something big…
We, The Grand Healthy Living Centre, moved in in 2012, we run local youth services, a job search and support club, silver surfer classes, healthy weight classes and stop smoking support and more, which you can read all about on other pages on this website.
We share the front space with The Bench Café, who run training programmes for unemployed people, while also serving wholesome, affordable food. The café is unique too as its food comes from Fareshare, a food charity which uses surplus food to help feed people and tackle the problem of unnecessary food waste.
Re-opening the Courtroom – you can get involved
Recently the back half of this cavernous building has undergone some restoration work to make it accessible and useable again. Local historian Christoph Bull talks a little more about the project in the video here – add video below this paragraph.
These changes focused on the Courtroom – a space that can now be rented by community groups or businesses for events, exhibitions, meetings, projects, rehearsals, you name it – we can (probably) host it!
The building is listed so we have worked with the council and a building company to sensitively restore the space. The features and furniture added in the 1970s (which were not listed) have been removed and now the floor space has increased.
While the space has not had a ‘glossy’ make-over, it is now safe and useable. It has retained the original court benches, witness box, jury area and press area. The striking lighting features also remain.
These changes have been funded by Gravesham Development Network. It’s an impressive space visually and it has an incredible history. We’re proud to be restoring the area and to bring it back into use.
If you’re interested in using the space, we’d love to hear from you. Pop in and see us, send us an email or give us a call.