KNUTSFORD’S long-awaited and highly-anticipated Health and Wellbeing Centre may be one step closer to becoming a reality.
At a meeting of Knutsford Town Council on January 6, the subject of the new centre was broached following an update from the Health Working Group.
Clr Stewart Gardiner informed members of the council and public present some town buildings were being looked at as possible locations for the health and wellbeing centre.
The Sessions House proved a popular choice for the housing of the new centre. The courthouse has not been officially closed by the Ministry of Justice but no cases have been heard there since 2011.
The 195-year-old building served briefly as a temporary home to Macclesfield Magistrates Court during its refurbishment three years ago.
Although currently disused, the building has been maintained and security remains on site.
Clr Gardiner said that he visited the courts some months ago and agreed that it fits the criteria required, with it being a well-established, central building.
He said that the issue lies with whether or not the Ministry of Justice intend to reinstate court hearings at the building and the securing of funding needed for the project.
It was suggested that Tatton MP George Osborne may be interested in getting involved with resolving these issues given his past support.
Back in 2003, the Chancellor presented a petition signed by more than 2,600 Guardian readers to then Labour minister Yvette Cooper calling for the Sessions House to be saved from closure.
The memorial hospital, on Northwich Road, was also put forward at Monday’s meeting as an ideal location for the centre and a satellite surgery in Mobberley is also being considered by the group.
Clr Gardiner reassured concerned members of the public present that the centre’s chosen location, wherever it may be, will be central to the town and ‘therefore accessible by all’.
The Health Working Group will be meeting later this month to discuss further progress.