Reading Gaol site considered for development as theatre

Sandra Giorgetti

Funding has been received by Theatre & Arts Reading for a study of the Reading Gaol site to establish its feasibility as a theatre.

Tim Foster of Foster Wilson architects who will work with TAR said, "we are very excited to be undertaking this design study to look at the opportunity to develop a large-scale theatre for Reading, which will enhance the town’s cultural offer and create a home for high quality touring theatre."

Last year, the prison was open for theatre and other events with considerable success.

£20,000 of the funding has come from Arts Council England with the Trafalgar Entertainment Group, a theatre operator headed by Rosemary Squire, Sir Howard Panter and Greg Dyke, and Festival Republic matching this amount.

The Ministry of Justice, which has refused to comment on the proposed study, is thought to be putting the historic site on the market next year.