The future of a Powys town’s landmark building could be secured by the opening of a cafe and holiday lets.
Listed building consent is being sought for the work on the Judge’s Lodging museum in Presteigne.
The Grade II-listed premises were built in the 1820s as a court room with offices and living accommodation.
Agents for the applicants claimed the cafe and accommodation would generate income for both the museum and the town.
The neo-classical building is currently an attraction depicting how judges, court staff and prisoners lived in the 19th Century, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
Arrol Architects said the applicants wanted to “improve the offer” for visitors with a ground-floor cafe and first-floor accommodation.
The conversion would be carried out with “due care and attention” to the listed building and “to a very high standard in order to maximise the return”, they said.
“Market research has indicated that a high-quality holiday let will achieve high occupancy rates and maximise return on the investment,” the architects added.
“High occupancy rates also have a knock-on effect on the local economy generating revenue for existing businesses in the locality.”
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Presteigne was the legal centre of the former county of Radnorshire for 400 years, hosting the Court of Assizes, part of the legal circuit which saw judges travel around the country hearing and ruling on cases.
The building hosted legal proceedings until 1970, after which it fell into disuse with the creation of permanent crown courts.
In the 1990s Powys County Council transferred the premises to The Judge’s Lodging Trust which opened a museum.
The local authority is expected to make a decision on the application for listed building work in the coming months.

Courtesy www.bbc.co.uk/news