Newsletter: 26 April 2017

Today we have launched an online survey to allow the people of Islington to put forward their views about the future of the Holloway prison site.

Please complete the survey and help us to get the word out by sharing the link with friends, family and local networks. We are keen to receive responses from both individuals AND community groups.

Planning and development is far too often dominated by private developers. The land is still owned by the Ministry of Justice and it’s crucial that the people of Islington have a say.

There are three main questions to the survey and you can take part by clicking on the link below.


If you are involved in a local group and would like to host a meeting to discuss the future of the Holloway site, then please get in touch.

It’s important that as many people as possible, from all parts of the community, are involved.


Our report, Islington: A local needs analysis, has been released alongside the survey. It reveals high levels of deprivation and need. The report and accompanying poster will help to frame conversations about what people want to see at the Holloway site.

The report’s author, Matt Ford, said:

‘Given what this report reveals about the problems facing people in Islington, it is clear that the redevelopment of the Holloway site could offer a fantastic opportunity to meet needs and benefit the local community.’

A call for council homes to be built on the Holloway prison site is the topic of a letter published in the Islington Tribune. Andrew Gardener and Zena Sullivan of the Islington Archaeology and History Society wrote:

‘The land should not be sold off, but handed to Islington Council to build suitable and genuinely affordable accommodation for some of the many thousands on the local waiting list.’

Others are calling for a women’s building at Holloway and this was the focus of an article on the openDemocracy website. Sisters Uncut activist, Nandini Archer, argues that ‘this former site of state violence against women must be reclaimed – for the collective good.’  Click here to read more.

The Ministry of Justice spent nearly £140,000 on water, gas, electricity and other utility bills for the closed Holloway prison site between August 2016 and February 2017. The figures were released following an information request. The Ministry of Justice have, however, refused to reveal how much is spent on site security, citing the ‘commercial interests of the MoJ and its suppliers’.

Is Pentonville next? The Evening Standard has reported that property agents, Savills, have been awarded a contract to review the possibility of closing and redeveloping other London prison sites. In June, the London Festival of Architecture will be ‘Unlocking Pentonville‘, to ‘imagine a radically different future for the site’.

And before you go … please don’t forget to complete the online survey and share the link amongst your networks. We want to gather as many views as possible!