Once home to the notorious Kray Twins, HM Prison Shepton Mallet was the oldest prison in the UK before its closure in 2013.
Now, something very different is being planned for the D wing of the prison, as it is set play host to a series of airsoft games, courtesy of Portsmouth-based airsoft provider UCAP.
Players will not have access to any other areas of the prison except the D wing, a more modern block which stands independently from the rest of the grade II listed building.
UCAP owner Andy Stevens has visited residents living close to the site to explain to them what will be happening, and has given praise to how the sport brings the unlikeliest of people together, adding an 84-year-old woman took part in one of his events!
The lease was agreed between UCAP and prison owners City and Country after a similar deal was made at another development, the King Edward VII Estate in West Sussex. It is a win/win for both parties, as it will provide revenue that can be put towards restorations of the old prison, whilst those playing airsoft will be doing so in such a historic venue.
UCAP will use the D wing until any building work forces them to vacate the premises. Time limits are always elastic when it comes to building planning, but we should be able to expect a good year or two's gaming! The first game is taking place on the 10th January, with a few free places being available to those living within three miles of the site, aged between 14 and 21.
This will be a great opportunity for people to experience airsoft in a new environment, and it is great to see skirmishes being more widely recognised as great social events, bringing together people from all walks of life.
Full details for the event can be found on the UCAP website here: http://ucap.co.uk/ucap-airsoft-venues/ucap-wing/.
Whether you are lucky enough to be attending this event, or are just looking for some new airsoft equipment for 2016, why not take a look at what we have on offer on our website, or pop in and visit us in store?