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Safeguard Shepton Mallet Prison's future - consult with the community before you make a decision on this historic site.

This petition had 265 supporters

Shepton Mallet was one of seven prison closures announced by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) in January 2013 to save on running costs. The 400-year-old building still costs the taxpayer more than £140,000 a year just to keep it mothballed.

Two local bidders who wanted to take over the former prison building have both been told they have been unsuccessful.  The MoJ are in "commercial negotiations" seeking the best value for the tax payer, but did not say who would buy the site or what would happen to it.  We remind the MOJ:

"The standard cost benefit analysis ('Treasury Green Book Analysis') that government departments use to assess value in public spending was supplemented in 2011 with methods to assess social value of proposals, beyond the economic.

JLL, who are acting for the MoJ, have refused to hold a public consultation and “tried to railroad the development brief through Mendip District Council without any public consultation” in the words of John Parham, town councillor, on our Facebook page.

Cllr Parham continued:

“We made it very clear that we saw the prison as a mixed use development with some residential, some community use, some workshop studio use and most importantly a tourist attraction of some kind to make the best of the prisons long and colourful history. “

Now over to the late Francis Disney, historian and former prison officer

“A prison is not normally considered a valuable. I do question this. Shepton Mallet Prison is of value. It is of architectural value; it has been of value to society in many areas and continues to be of value to Shepton Mallet town.” 

Shepton Mallet has a critical shortage of community space for clubs and societies, training and education, arts and heritage.  Local talented gymnasts have nowhere to practise, local drama groups have folded – one reason being there is no space to rehearse and perform.  A successful digital arts festival that ran for 5 years and brought people from all over the South West stopped due to a lack of venues.  We accept there needs to be a robust business model behind the future of running such a space, but we do not accept that the MoJ will not include the local people in the decision that affects our local community.

Let the MOJ hear how strong our feelings are to save the Vision of Shepton Mallet Prison. Sign this petition now.

Please Like our facebook page:

"Yet again another epic fail for our community! Not only will the historic building be lost, the sale doesn't even go to a local business, who employ local trades. So yet more apartments for an already overloaded town with creaking community facilities!" Lucy Burton on facebook.  Creating a Vision and Future for Shepton Mallet Prison



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Claire Sully needs your help with “Ministry of Justice (MoJ): Safeguard Shepton Mallet Prison's future - consult with the community before you make a decision on this historic site.”. Join Claire and 264 supporters today.