DESPITE previous talks of closure, one of Somerset's most unique and historic tourist attractions is now set to remain open.

It was announced on November 28, 2023 that Shepton Mallet Prison would close its doors 'forever' in the new year.

Locals and tourists to the area were shocked and saddened by the news that the 400 year old site would be shut down.

The decision came due to a 'lack of support' from the prison’s owners, City & Country, according to  Joel Campbell, CEO of Cove Group which has managed the prison since 2017.

However, a twist of events now means the site which once housed the Kray twins will be remaining open for the foreseeable future.

The news comes after discussions between the site operators, Cove Group, and landlords City & Country.

Officials at the prison said it was recognised how important the site was to the local community, and that further discussions are now scheduled regarding the long term future of the Somerset landmark.

Joel Campbell, CEO at the Cove Group, said, “We are optimistic about our forthcoming discussions with City & Country and relieved on behalf of our hard-working staff who now know that their jobs are secure into the new year.

"We would like to thank the local community for their support in recent weeks and hope that this continues as we remain open for business.”

On Facebook, a spokesperson for Shepton Mallet Prison added: "We are thrilled to announce that Shepton Mallet Prison will remain open in the new year!

"Preserving and protecting the heritage of this incredible building is close to our hearts, and we are delighted that our team will be able to welcome more visitors in 2024."