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'Ultimately I want to create jobs' - businessman wants your ideas for court redevelopment

PUBLISHED: 15:55 12 April 2019 | UPDATED: 09:40 13 April 2019

Peter Colby wants the public to submit ideas for the redevelopment of the old Lowestoft Magistrates' Court. Picture: Archant

Peter Colby wants the public to submit ideas for the redevelopment of the old Lowestoft Magistrates' Court. Picture: Archant

Archant © 2018

A businessman wants the public to put forward their suggestions for the redevelopment of a town's former magistrates' court.

Peter Colby, who owns Peter Colby Commercials, struck a deal to buy Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court last year and is keen to bring it back into use for the community.

The court has been sitting disused and derelict since its closure in 2016 due to widespread cutbacks, but Mr Colby has emphasised his desire to create something for the benefit of Lowestoft as a whole.

Peter Colby at Lowestoft Magistrates' Court. Picture: Victoria PertusaPeter Colby at Lowestoft Magistrates' Court. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Among his ideas are a medical centre, sports facilities or office space for those working on offshore energy projects, but now he wants residents to come forward with their own thoughts.

“This place could be turned into so many different things,” said Mr Colby. “Ultimately I want to create jobs because, in my opinion, Lowestoft needs employment.

“This town was once a manufacturing hub, making televisions, buses, ships and of course we had the fishing industry - we did everything.

“It’s sad to see where it’s got to today, but I believe if people work at it sensibly we can create meaningful jobs. There is work out there and I genuinely believe people want to work, especially young people.

Peter Colby hopes to transform the Magistrates' Court into employment opportunities for Lowestoft. Picture: Victoria PertusaPeter Colby hopes to transform the Magistrates' Court into employment opportunities for Lowestoft. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

“If anyone has any ideas then please get in touch with me. Hopefully, whatever the court becomes, it will create employment for the town.”

As well as facilitating a brighter future, Mr Colby says the court should be used to celebrate days gone by.

A look inside the derelict Lowestoft Magistrates' Court. Picture: Victoria PertusaA look inside the derelict Lowestoft Magistrates' Court. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

The 77-year-old believes the site would be a perfect base to showcase Lowestoft’s history - despite plans to transfer the current record office to a £20m heritage centre in Ipswich.

Regardless of the eventual outcome, for Mr Colby the magistrates’ court project is about giving something back to the town where he grew up.

Peter Colby at Lowestoft Magistrates' Court. Picture: Victoria PertusaPeter Colby at Lowestoft Magistrates' Court. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

“I believe passionately that Lowestoft has heritage we should be proud of, going back to the days of Samuel Morton Peto,” added Mr Colby.

“This area needs mass regeneration, but not by building houses for people to come from London to live in - by creating jobs for local people. “Lowestoft gave me a lot - it gave me something I can be proud of. Now I’m pleased to work with Lowestoft to try and achieve something.”

A look inside the derelict Lowestoft Magistrates' Court. Picture: Victoria PertusaA look inside the derelict Lowestoft Magistrates' Court. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

To submit your ideas for the redevelopment, email Peter Colby via colbypg@aol.com.

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