Brixton Prison is to become home to a restaurant open to the public and fully staffed by inmates, it was announced today.
Charity the Clink said the former governor’s house within the historic jail on Brixton Hill is to be converted to a three-storey restaurant and meetings venue due to be completed early next year with seating for 100 paying guests.
The restaurant will follow The Clink’s Five Step Programme that has been successfully implemented at the award winning and successful Clink restaurant at HMP High Down in Surrey, educating prisoners and equipping them with the skills and tools to secure employment upon their release.
Edmond Tullett, Brixton Prison geverner said: “Brixton is more than delighted to host the third Clink training restaurant in the Regency Roundhouse which dates back to 1819. The restaurant will provide an unforgettable experience for customers and an unrivalled opportunity for prisoners to acquire marketable skills that will lead to local jobs and provide a pathway to a better life.”
Chris Moore, chief executive of The Clink Charity believes Brixton will cement the future for further Clink restaurants. “Brixton was the perfect site for our next restaurant. HMP Brixton is undergoing a regeneration project and was looking for an organisation to work with to develop the building into an opportunity for rehabilitation.”
Mr Moore added: “The central location lends itself to securing support from local businesses and members of the public, providing they are committed to The Clink’s vision and once the necessary security checks have been processed, providing real-life experience for those prisoners who make it through the selection process to join the programme.”
Brixton Prison hit the headlines last year after celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey helped inmates there set up the Bad Boys Bakery as part of a television series. The bakery now provides cakes to national coffee chains.