Hillsborough inquests venue confirmed
Fresh inquests into the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans at the 1989 Hillsborough disaster will be held at a Warrington business park, the coroner in charge has confirmed.
Lord Justice John Goldring will conduct the inquests, which are scheduled to start on March 31 next year, at the Cheshire town’s Birchwood Park business estate.
A spokesman for the coroner said in a statement: “Lord Justice Goldring has confirmed that the venue for the hearings for the new Hillsborough inquests will be 305 Bridgewater Place, Birchwood Park, Warrington, Cheshire.”
The inquest venue is a little over 20 miles from Liverpool, from where many of the disaster victims’ families will travel for the inquests next spring.
Lord Justice Goldring had confirmed in late September that the inquests would be held in Warrington, having announced in April that they would be conducted in the North-West of England, closer to Liverpool, rather than in London.
The victims of the disaster were crushed to death on an overcrowded section of terracing at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough, home of Sheffield Wednesday, on April 15, 1989.
Original inquests, conducted by Dr Stefan Popper, returned verdicts of accidental death in March 1991.
Campaigners have maintained that those verdicts, and the manner in which the inquests were conducted, prevented a proper investigation into the role of the police and emergency services on the day of the tragedy.
An independent report, published in September 2012, cleared fans of any blame for the disaster and highlighted the extent to which the police and emergency services had attempted to cover up their own culpability.
That report has prompted a series of legal moves designed to bring those to blame for the tragedy to justice.
The original inquest verdicts were quashed in December, two months after the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), the UK's police watchdog, announced that it would carry out a two-year investigation into both the role played by officers on the day and the subsequent cover-up.
A second investigation, named Operation Resolve and focusing on possible criminal behaviour by any people or bodies with responsibility for fan safety at Hillsborough, was set up in December and is being headed up by former Durham chief constable Jon Stoddart.
Both the IPCC investigation and the Stoddart inquiry have their headquarters in Warrington.