Reading Gaol: new petition

READING Borough Council’s (RBC) bid to purchase the Reading Gaol has been rejected by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).

The council has expressed its disappointment that its bid to purchase the Reading Prison has been rejected but has now vowed to work with the successful bidder to ensure its huge historical and cultural value is recognised in any future development.

RBC has always emphasised the historical and cultural value of the vacant Reading Gaol site, particularly in the context of re-opening the Grade I listed Reading Abbey Ruins. The council’s position remains that the Reading Gaol site – sitting next to The Abbey on a site of national significance – offers huge potential for heritage-led regeneration.

RBC’s planning policies mean it is essential that any proposed future development of the site has provision of a cultural or historical element which draws on the significance of the Reading Prison site. Any proposals would also need to enhance the Abbey Quarter as a heritage and cultural destination. It is highly likely further archaeological assessments and investigations would additionally be needed to inform any future development.

Please sign the petition to encourage the maximum use of planning law to protect the site as much as possible.