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Gloucester Prison goes on the market and could attract seven-figure sum

By The Citizen  |  Posted: February 01, 2014

Gloucester Prison

Comments (10)

FOR Sale – but who will buy Gloucester Prison?

The 222-year-old building is steeped in history and is now officially on the market.

Boasting Grade II listed buildings, a back story of one of the first purpose-built jails in the country, hundreds of rooms including a chapel and all on a prime site between the city centre and the Docks, it looks set to raise a seven figure sum for the Ministry of Justice.

As a 3.5-acre brownfield site it could be worth more than £3million but its unique character could drive the price down – 122 bodies lie beneath it and its uses could be constrained by its history.

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The Debtors’ Prison became a cell block on the west side and is Grade II listed, meaning the interior is protected too.

The oldest part, which retains features from the 1791 prison, is also listed.

The firm behind the hotel conversion of Oxford Jail, Malmaison, Oxford, showed interest when the Barrack Square site closed but it is believed interest is waning on that front.

“I doubt anyone could put a figure on it until they know more about it and have an idea of what they want to do with it,” said Gloucester City Council leader Councillor Paul James.

“I would like to see a mixed use there – there is no reason why you cannot get residential, a heritage use and a hotel there. Residential would be very good for the city centre and, as a council, we are keen to see the best use made of it.”

He said the city council would listen to potential buyers who wanted to make use of the neighbouring Blackfriars site too.

City architect Stephen Limbrick of Roberts Limbrick said it represents a unique challenge and opportunity.

“It’s pretty impossible to say what it’s worth but it is a fantastic opportunity to get a really prime bit of land and property near the city centre and the Docks,” he said.

“It has options but it will depend on whether there is someone out there who can make it happen. We would love the chance to be involved in any future project there.”

Robert Smith, of property consultancy Bruton Knowles, said its value will depend to some extent on its future use.

“The value will be derived from what someone can do with it,” he said. “It is in a very good position but it is a constrained site.”

A Prison Service spokesman confirmed Gloucester Prison ‘is now for sale’, alongside another which has closed – Shepton Mallet in Somerset – but it does not have a price tag.

“We will consider appropriate offers and will always seek best value for taxpayers,” he said.

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  • jackson99  |  February 03 2014, 12:14AM

    I remember all the plans and the large amount our wonderful Council spent on them for the railway triangle and all we ended up with was yet another supermarket.

  • JemmyWood  |  February 02 2014, 8:11PM

    Jas39, well some people in the Council seem to think that money grows on trees if you think about the £190K spent on improving the current reception area. I was in there a few weeks ago and thought it OK and fit for purpose.

    |   1
  • jas37  |  February 02 2014, 8:00PM

    Apothgem, The City Council already lets out the North Warehouse to Regus. Where do you suggest the Council get the money to buy the Prison? The Prison site must surely include some residential and a Hotel to make a Heritage Centre viable. I'm sure some people still think that money grows on trees!

    |   3
  • Apothegm_  |  February 02 2014, 8:56AM

    If Gloucester City Council moved into it they could let out the North Warehouse for £lots each month, and wouldn't need to spend £190K on their new reception area! (This idea might also be a bit simplistic...)

  • nedaemch  |  February 02 2014, 1:32AM

    Witherspoons also said they would need people behind bars.

    |   1
  • nedaemch  |  February 02 2014, 1:26AM

    Witherspoons said they will buy it and turn it into a pub.They said they would name it Lucifers.

    |   -1
  • Glos_Lad34  |  February 01 2014, 7:58PM

    @Glawsterman, I definitely agree, We should have what you basically said and hope that the mitcheldean museum's owner does not takeover it.

  • RoadWombat  |  February 01 2014, 7:47PM

    Tell you what - why not turn it into a prison? The country is crying out for prison places!

  • Glawsterman  |  February 01 2014, 1:32PM

    How about a complete change for Gloucester, let's have a tourist attraction. The prison as it changed through the years, a history centre, a family history centre all together, but definitely NOT more residential usage.

    |   10
  • Glos_Lad34  |  February 01 2014, 9:47AM

    Eenie meanie miney mo, Who will buy it, Nobody knows?

    |   -2