Glasgow prison could become new tourist attraction
February 14, 2012 by Gareth
A Glasgow Victorian prison is being considered a tourist attraction following speculation that it will be replaced within the next ten years.
Barlinnie Prison in Glasgow is 130 years old this year and there are plans to close the jail down by 2020 as the facility is gradually replaced with a newer prison nearby. The prison’s governor, Derek McGill, recently spoke about the potential repurposing of Barlinnie to The Daily Record newspaper, saying:
“It would be sad to see it demolished completely. There’s a huge amount of history here. You could imagine them running tours. This could be the Alcatraz of Glasgow.”
Graeme Pearson, the South Scotland Labour MSP, echoed these sentiments, saying:
“Quite evidently, prisons do have an attraction for the general public. Barlinnie has a history going back more than 100 years, including hangings. Some of the most monstrous prisoners have passed through its gates at various times and I suppose there is a possibility it could become a tourist attraction. It is a big site once you are on it and the buildings, internally, are pretty impressive.”
This could bring a significant boost to the Glasgow tourist industry if the prison were to follow in the footsteps of its San Franciscan counterpart, Alcatraz, which attracts almost 1.5 million visitors every year. Any tourist activity would bring a boost to the local economy, with local businesses such as print shops in Glasgow being called upon to carry out souvenir brochure and postcard printing.
Glasgow’s Barlinnnie prison is home to 1,500 prisoners at present and currently suffers from overcrowding, hence the proposed development of a new correctional facility nearby and the idea to open Barlinnie up to the public as a tourist attraction.