Loughborough has been chosen as the location for the third Courts & Tribunals Service Centre, further centralising back-office functions.
The first two, in Stoke-on-Trent and Birmingham, are set to start operating in January 2019, as part of the £1bn court modernisation project.
The Loughborough centre will hold around 200 employees, bringing the total to around 1,000 across all three sites.
It is expected to be fully operational by May 2020 but services may start moving there by the end of 2019.
The centres will deal with all aspects of handling cases, including new applications, managing queries from the public and professional users, and supporting the judiciary in progressing cases and listing hearings.
Half of HM Courts and Tribunals Service’s (HMCTS) workforce will continue to be based in courts and tribunals, and work closely with the new service centres.
Existing HMCTS employees who are affected by the changes will be given priority to apply for roles in service centres.
Susan Acland-Hood, chief executive of HMCTS, said: “Our service centres will transform the services we offer to all HMCTS users, making it easier, quicker and more efficient to access support.
“For HMCTS colleagues, the new service centres will offer the opportunity to work in modern, well designed spaces with support available to develop their skills and expertise in the justice system.”
The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS), which represents courts and tribunals staff, says that at least 1,600 jobs are at risk as a result to the move to service centres, and is running a ‘Defending Justice’ campaign over the huge cuts to the Ministry of Justice budget in recent years.
It says the Ministry of Justice has been the hardest hit department by spending cuts, with its budget falling from £9.3bn (at current prices) in 2010/11 to £5.6bn by 2019/20. More than 5,000 jobs have been cut and more than 220 courts closed since 2010.
In addition, the PCS says, by March 2023, HMCTS expects to employ 5,000 fewer full-time equivalent staff, reduce the number of cases held in physical courtrooms by 2.4 million a year and reduce annual spending by £265m.