THE sale of Kingston Prison to a family-run development company is now complete.
City & Country has officially taken over the historic Portsmouth site as part of a package with other UK prisons.
It comes after the firm exchanged contracts with the Ministry of Justice to take over the assets.
Helen Moore, managing director of City & Country, based in Stansted, Essex, said: ‘We are very pleased to legally complete the purchase of these four former prisons from the Ministry of Justice.
‘We will now be embarking on a period of detailed public consultation, engaging with stakeholders to ensure all considerations are taken into account on how best to regenerate these historic sites.’
She added: ‘It is our intention to bring these buildings back to viable and beneficial use, although as yet we have no fixed plans.
‘City & Country has an excellent track record of restoring and breathing new life into some incredibly challenging buildings, and we are confident that we can deliver new schemes at each prison that not only enhance the original building, but also help to enrich its surroundings.’
Four public consultations are due to be held to determine what should happen to the prisons, based in Portsmouth, Shepton Mallet, Dorchester and Gloucester.
The company says it is currently investigating the option of opening up areas of the prisons for the public to view.
Kingston Prison, which was built in 1877, was one of seven prisons in England that closed in 2013, including Camp Hill Prison on the Isle of Wight.
It was part of a move made by the government to save £63m a year.