The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) has started work to build a two court complex to hear sheriff and jury cases and custody cases in Kirkcaldy.
The £3.7m project will consist of two new criminal courtrooms and a court custody unit which will be located within the existing Kirkcaldy police station building at St. Brycedale Avenue.
The creation of the new courtrooms will improve efficiency and flexibility in managing day to day business increasing the number of courtrooms and providing improved accommodation for court users, including victims, witnesses and jurors.
Kirkcaldy Sheriff Clerk Gail Smith said: “I am delighted that building works have now commenced, and looking forward to the forthcoming changes that will provide better facilities for those attending court.
“The court programme is also being reviewed to make the best use of court time and resources, in addition to continuing to use video conferencing links for prisons for procedural hearings.
“Technology will allow us to manage the two sites efficiently and we will continue to promote the use of video conferencing links to prisons for procedural hearings.”
With the new court complex comes the opportunity at a later stage to develop the entire building into a justice centre providing the full range of justice services from a single location in Kirkcaldy.
Eric McQueen, SCTS Chief Executive, said: “With financial support from Scottish Government we are taking this initial exciting step to improve court services within Kirkcaldy, which is consistent with our longer-term ambition to establish justice centres in key locations in Scotland, including Fife.”
Fife Divisional Commander Chief Superintendent Derek McEwan said: “I welcome the work starting and we will welcome our partners when they begin to use these state-of-the-art facilities.
“We will be able to work much more closely with the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service which will enable us to run a more efficient process from police custody into court, freeing up time for those who work in our custody suite and front line local policing officers alike.
“This opportunity emphasises Police Scotland’s ambition to influence and enhance all services provided to the communities of Fife through a collaborative approach.”
Robertson Construction is the main contractor and work is estimated to take 8 months to complete.
The current Justice of the Peace court will be offered for sale on the open market.
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