New £1.4m Coroners Court officially opened by Chief Coroner
Birmingham and Solihull’s new £1.458m Coroners Court was officially opened by the Chief Coroner for England and Wales, His Honour Judge Thomas Teague QC, earlier today (9 March 2022).
The former Youth Court on Steelhouse Lane, has been fully refurbished to triple the number of court rooms for inquests from one to three, which will have technology to enable representatives or jury members to attend hearings virtually.
The facility will also provide office space for HM Coroners staff and training facilities, as the first step in creating a centre of excellence for the city and wider region.
Cllr John Cotton, Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Community Safety and Equalities, said: “The new Coroners Court not only means there is room to accommodate more inquests, it also provides the space required by families and representatives at what can be difficult times.
“It’s also great to welcome the Chief Coroner to Birmingham to officially open this new facility which will help the Coroners Service accommodate larger and more complex inquests.”
Previously the Coroners Court was housed in Newton Street with one court room, with these facilities supplemented by the hiring of rooms elsewhere in the city.
The new court also has a larger jury room and facilities, as well as a faith room and space for bereaved families to spend time before and after hearings.
Louise Hunt, Senior Coroner for Birmingham and Solihull, welcomed the new facilities and the difference that will mean for the Coroners Service.
Mrs Hunt said: “Our former home was unable to accommodate more than one inquest at a time, no longer meeting the demands of the service. During the pandemic this was tested especially with the need to maintain social distancing.
“This new facility means we can accommodate more cases and service staff, and future proofs the service for at least the next 25 years.”