Women's Building Working Group

This Working Group spearheads Community Plan for Holloway’s efforts to ensure that a Women’s Building will be constructed on the site of the former HMP Holloway - a positive legacy for the thousands of women held in the prison over its 164-year history.

The group brings together stakeholders in the community, and includes a wide range of expertise. Members include women who were imprisoned in Holloway, as well as representatives of a variety of organisations that worked both inside and outside the prison and have a wealth of knowledge regarding services for women. Many of these organisations have highly specialised expertise which as a community we cannot afford to lose.

The Working Group meets online every month, and is open to everyone. New members are always welcome. To find out more about how you can get involved, send an email to engage.plan4holloway@gmail.com.


The origins of the Working Group stretch back to November 2016 when the closure of Holloway prison was announced. An activist coalition called Reclaim Holloway sprang up from a broad mix of groups and individuals, determined that the site must not be sold to the highest bidder to turn into luxury housing (the then-government’s plan). Reclaim Holloway members remain at the core of CP4H’s Women’s Building Working Group.

Over time, the coalition’s concerns grew into more detailed demands for the site to include significant social housing, green space, and a dynamic, multi-functional, self-sustaining Women’s Building - a hub for women to receive support and find the community they need. You can read more about the sort of support that is needed here.

Islington Council’s Holloway Prison Site Supplementary Planning Document (2018) included the Women’s Building as part of the redevelopment. The site’s purchaser, Peabody, committed to constructing the Women’s Building and handing it over to a governing body at a “peppercorn” (nominal) rent. From 2020 to 2021, the Working Group attended regular Women’s Building “co-production” meetings with the Council and Peabody, but these ceased in early 2021.


The official plan adopted by the Council in early 2022 has reduced the hoped-for standalone Women’s Building to a single floor beneath two residential towers. The Council is setting up a Steering Group to oversee activities such as a feasibility study for the facility, and CP4H and the Women’s Building Working Group are pressing for a seat on this new body. At time of writing (April 12, 2023) it is unclear what role the Working Group will have in the Steering Group, but we hope this will be resolved in early May.