Charity's courthouse bid dismissed
by Hayley Robinson
A charity's bid to buy the former town magistrates’ court
FACES of Kent, which offers support services to carers of all
ages, wanted to transform the building in Park Road, Sittingbourne,
into a centre for its clients.
Plans included providing training and function rooms, plus
conference and office facilities which would have been available to
other organisations to hire.
There would also have been a young carers’ zone where parents
could drop their youngsters off while they shopped in the high
Added to this would have been a cafe open to the public plus a
sensory room, wet room and shower facilities as well as one-to-one
counselling rooms, therapy and relaxation rooms, wi-fi computer
suite, a quiet room, sensory garden and a bedsit to support young
The charity presently rents offices in Sheerness, where it has
been based for the last three and a half years, but it says it
needs to find a bigger, permanent and more central location due to
the growing number of people it helps.
Chief executive Sandie Hornby received an email on Monday from
Jones Lang LaSalle and Harrisons Chartered Surveyors, which are
handling the sale on behalf of the Ministry of Justice.
It said the bid to buy both the courthouse and the former staff
car park off Albany Road had not been accepted.
Mrs Hornby said: “The estate agent has stated they will contact
us again should the sale fall through for any reason.
“I thank everyone for their very generous support in helping
with our bid and application. I don’t think we could have put a
stronger case than we did, but I guess money speaks louder than
words and actions in this case.
“However, we won’t be fazed by this and, as the old song says,
‘que sera, sera’.
“We will still develop a centre of excellence for the carers,
just not where we’d originally hoped and if anyone knows of an
alternative property, please let us know.”
Ten bids were submitted by parties interested in buying the
A provisional bid for an undisclosed sum has been accepted and
it is hoped the sale will be completed before Christmas.
Details of the new owner will then be released.
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