WRC is working closely with women’s sector organisations to discuss the closure of Holloway Prison, the challenges facing the women’s sector and the potential of the site to host a Women’s Building. There is a strong and coherent desire that the opportunity to make meaning of the site as a former women’s prison, as a historic location in the history of women’s rights be embraced. This will help the women’s sector maintain independence and reduce reliance on current funding models, which are precarious and problematic, often leaving staff with little security as project funding tends to run at a maximum of 3 years.
A Women’s Building could be a resource for the women’s sector to:
- Promote the value and leadership of women and women-only spaces
- Be a home for WRC and other women’s organisations
- Promote cross-pollination, growth and solidarity amongst women
- Be financially and environmentally sustainable
- Be a legacy for the prison’s historic connection with suffragettes and the women’s movement
- Become a ‘lighthouse’ for those connected to the prison
- Be a building that embodies women’s potential
- Support the delivery of services for women and children
Women’s sector organisations that have been delivering services in Islington for over thirty years have been forced to move out of the borough due to rising costs and this is also the case across London with organisations facing the end of their tenancies and left with insecure futures.
WRC in partnership with others is building a coalition of women’s sector organisations and supporters to call for a Women’s Building on the site of Holloway prison.