Vision for Reading Prison buildings

TAR (Theatre & Arts Reading) has announced it has gained access to Reading Gaol for an architect’s feasibility study. With the help of Alok Sharma MP , TAR can now use its Arts Council England grant to assess whether a theatre can be built on the gaol site – and other uses for the site.

TAR has also released its ‘Vision of Opportunities’ for the gaol site ahead of the study. This document is TAR’s ideas on what working in partnership could bring to the site in the future.


Reading GAOL 2A new cultural hub in Reading Gaol will be a celebration of Reading, of its extraordinary heritage, its dynamic energy and its wealth of opportunity, built as a public/commercial/educational partnership venture.

There are boundless opportunities. They are for the existing buildings on the site, the free space on the site and the crucible building which is Grade 11 listed.



  • Theatre 1 – large receiving theatre

  • Theatre 2 – smaller producing/receiving theatre

  • Performance/Rehearsal space

  • Cell space for creative start-ups

  • Oscar Wilde multi-media experience

  • Oscar Wilde museum

  • Café/restaurant/bar

  • Contemporary art gallery

  • Arts film theatre

  • Gift shop

  • Archaeological finds from Reading Abbey to be displayed

  • Enabling Development

  • Educational & Cultural Partnerships to build sustainability

  • Integration with Reading Abbey Heritage Quarter and Kennet & Avon Canal

More detail at 


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