THE long arm of the law is likely to be joined by the long arm of a crane in Winchester.

A programme of refurbishment will be taking place at the city's combined courts during the coming weeks.

In order to modernise the mid-1970s building, a tower crane will be needed for part of the operation.

It will be used to replace a cooling tower, which forms part of the air conditioning system.

The self-assembling crane will be in the courtyard outside the premises for three consecutive weekends.

It will first be on site during Saturday, March 1 and Sunday, March 2.

While the crane is deployed, there will be some restrictions to how much of the courtyard will be open to the public.

Southampton-based firm, R F Webb, is carrying out the refurbishment works, which are not expected to disrupt the running of the courts. The crane is being provided by City Lifting Limited from Essex.

The design work for the scheme was carried out by Hampshire County Council, which leases the site to Her Majesty's Court Service. The refurbishment is due to finish in April.