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Work has started on the Assize Courts in Devizes after fears the building has reached a critical condition.
A recent inspection revealed urgent action was needed to protect the Grade II* building from further long-term damage.
The council issued an Urgent Works Notice as it looks to secure a future for the town's former law courts.
Wiltshire Council has been working behind the scenes to search for a solution as the building has continued to deteriorate.
Now work will begin to clear vermin and waste from the building, carry out temporary roof repairs, secure windows and erect scaffolding.
Cllr Toby Sturgis, Wiltshire Council Conservative cabinet member for strategic planning said: "Wiltshire Council will continue to work with the owners to try to find a long-term solution for the Assize Courts. We would like to reassure the community that we will continue to monitor the situation to ensure the safety of the building and the public.”