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The restoration of the neo-classical Old Courthouse building is nearing completion (slowly but surely)

Courthouse
14 Feb 2018 / 08:52

CORFU. The Ionian Islands Regional Services will soon be able to move into the building.

In approximately one month the renovation work on the Old Courthouse building in Spilia will be completed. It will then become home to the Ionian Islands Regional headquarters. It was originally intended to have completed the work by autumn 2017 but there were delays, which sources in the Regional administration say were due to the contractor. We are now in February 2018 and the work seems to be finally nearing completion. The contractor has now told the Regional administration that it will be finished within a month.

The Regional administration wants to move into the new building as soon as possible and vacate the premises at Alykes Potamo, for which they are paying rent and which is inconveniently located away from the town centre. The neo-classical Old Courthouse will house the Ionian Islands Region, the Management Authority and the Planning Office as well as the Regional Council conference hall.



Obstacles

The Courthouse had been housed in the building since 1953 and prior to that it had been a branch of the National Bank from 1935-1938. The neo-classical building, which at one time was the Venetian Granary, is owned by the Public Real Estate Company (ETAD A.E.)

When the new Courthouse was established opposite Corfu Prison, the then Regional Governor, Spyros Spyrou, requested that the Regional Headquarters move to the vacated building. The suggestion that the Tax Office also be housed there was quickly abandoned because of the lack of parking space and the traffic problems that would be created. Initially, the use of the building was to be rent-free for the first 10 years and the following 10 years, rent – to be determined - would be paid.

The building won’t fall into ruin

The current Regional Administration requested improved conditions of use from the government, given that it had invested a lot of time and money in the restoration of the building and into adapting it for its new use. The government accepted the request and so the obstacles were removed. In July 2017 Parliament approved the concession of the Old Courthouse to the Ionian Islands Region to use as its headquarters rent-free and for an indefinite period of time.

The relocation of the Regional Services will improve the whole area and at the same time will remove the danger of a historical building falling into ruin.