The sale of the women’s prison forms part of a £1.3bn revamp of the prison estate

The redevelopment of notorious women’s prison HMP Holloway has moved a step closer, after the Ministry of Justice appointed an agent to sell the central London site.

HMP Holloway is the first of several Victorian prisons lined up for sale by the government, which estimates over 3,000 homes could be built on old prison sites.

Agent Billfinger GVA will advise on the sale of HMP Holloway, which is due to close this year.

Holloway, which opened in 1852, has been home to notorious killers including Moors murderer Myra Hindley. Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be executed in the UK, was imprisoned there before her death in 1955.

The prisons sell-off is part of a £1.3bn programme to modernise the prison estate, which will include construction of nine new ‘super prisons’. Building revealed in July that former Argent partner Tony Giddings is acting as a development adviser on the programme.

The first of the new super prisons - which are designed to hold more than 2,000 inmates - is already being built in Wrexham and is due to open next year, while existing prisons in Stocken and Rye Hill are set to be expanded.

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: “We have reached an agreement with an agent for the sale of the HMP Holloway site. We will work to get the best possible value for the taxpayer.”