It’s been at the heart of law and order and civic life in Angus for more than two hundred years.
Now, the former court in Arbroath has passed its last sentence, and it’s taking no prisoners with its ambitious plans to benefit the community.
Two years ago, Arbroath Courthouse Community Trust bought the historic building for £1.
Ambitious plans have now been given the go ahead by Angus Council to turn it into a hub offering creative and social space as well as training to boost skills and jobs.
“We want people to come in, feel safe and welcome and it will be used from everything from weddings to meetings and that is our hopes and dreams and it will be the feed the town needs for the High Street to be rejuvenated,” said the Trust’s Lynn Cameron.
Artists from local art group Hospitalfield have taken up residence in parts of the iconic building more used to drama than design.
“You’re always aware of the history and what it has been used for before,” explained ceramicist Judith Davies.
“I know one person who is going to work around the history of slavery and perhaps the part that would have played in these buildings,” added Judith.
The court closed in 2014 as part of a shake-up of the justice system with all Angus cases moving to Forfar Sheriff Court.
The Trust need £2 million to carry out repairs and transform the sprawling space in the centre of the town.
“We need to repair the roof to make it secure,” explained Trust Chairman Angus Roberts.
“Other parts of the building have particular needs in listed parts of the building, plaster ceilings, doorways, so there is a variety of bits and pieces that has to be dealt with and that’s all part of the overall plan to restore the building and put it into functional use.”
Signs of its past can still be seen with the cells and graffiti left by inmates still evident.
The hope is people can help contribute time and money to transform the historic building and do the community justice.