Reading Borough Council bids for the Gaol (again)

After Artisan Real Estate pulling out from the purchase of reading Gaol, Reading Borough council was awarded a period of exclusivity to prepare a bid. This period has now ended. The council’s policy committee meeting on March 8th gave the council the go ahead to submit the bid.

Kate Winslet credit:Frederic Auerbach

Kate Winslet joins the campaign

We are excited that Kate Winslet has added her support to the campaign to save the Gaol. Kate appeared on BBC South Today with Save Reading Gaol campaigner Toby Davies of Rabble Theatre.

Banksy gives campaign a boost

On the morning of March 1st Reading residents woke up to find the prison walls adorned with a wonderful new piece of artwork. A prisoner, possibly Oscar Wilde himself, is climbing down the prison wall with a typewriter. A few days later Banksy confirmed that it was his artwork.

Council get a second chance

We got an early Christmas present! Reading Borough Council will get a second opportunity to bid for the Gaol. The Ministry of Justice has given the Council a period of exclusivity to prepare a new bid. The originally successful bidder, Artisan Real Estate, pulled out of purchasing the Gaol.

Kenneth Branagh and Natalie Dormer lend their support

Save Reading Gaol campaigners are delighted that two stars with close ties to Reading have expressed their support for the campaign. Sir Kenneth Branagh lived in Reading for part of his childhood. Natalie Dormer, star of Game of Thrones, was born in Reading and attended Chiltern Edge and Blue Coat schools.

Reading Gaol sale falls through

Artisan Real Estate, who was successful in their bid for Reading Gaol, has pulled out of the purchase. Campaigners are hopeful that the Ministry of Justice may have a change of heart and let Reading Borough Council convert the prison into an arts and cultural hub.

Council loses bid for Gaol

Following a campaign that has included the MP Matt Rodda’s petition and the Reading Gaol Hug, Reading Borough Council’s bid to obtain Reading Gaol to create an arts and cultural hub has failed. The identity of the successful bidder, thought to be a housing developer, has not been revealed.

(Virtual) March to the Gaol

Following the successful Reading Gaol Hug a “March to the Gaol” was planned for 21st March 2020. This did, of course, turn out to be supremely bad timing and the march had to be cancelled because of the Coronavirus pandemic.