Cirencester Courthouse has officially re-opened its doors today

The justices are expected to hear a series of appeals first with the first scheduled trial listed a fortnight later.

The mixture of crown, magistrates and family courts will be the first hearings in almost a decade.

The last was in 2012 when the building was axed by the Ministry of Justice as part of a closure programme which saw many of Gloucestershire’s local courts axed.

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Martin Surl bought the building, which adjoins the town’s police station, in order to secure the site for the Constabulary.

He offered it back to HM Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS) last April as a temporary means of reducing the backlog of cases caused by Covid.

When little progress was made, Mr Surl raised the issue directly with Chris Philp, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Justice and eventually an agreement was reached just before Christmas.

In a tweet yesterday Mr Surl said: "Justice will be done.

"Tomorrow I will handover the keys to Gloucestershire’s Nightingale Court at Cirencester.

"It will sit as a Crown & Magistrates Court and be the only one that complies with the Equality Act."

There are now over 1,000 criminal cases waiting to be heard in Gloucestershire – a record high and a number that has more than doubled since the start of the pandemic.