6 alternative uses for the abandoned River Thames fort

As you may have heard, there’s a fort in the Thames for sale with a guide price of £500,000. It needs at least £1m of work done to it to make it even remotely habitable and it will take a bit ofimagination to be able to see its potential.

There have been plans to turn it into a posh City worker residence and a hotel, but there are a whole range of things the fort could be turned into.

Thames fort

Here we look at the likely candidates (granted, they get slightly more ridiculous towards the end).

Nightclub

Currently a campaign called Everyone’s Party Fort, which aims to buy the fort and turn it into a nightclub, is storming a crowdfunding site. It’s gathered nearly £57,000 (but that includes one £50,000 pledge) in 11 days. The fort would actually be ideally suited to being a club as, with no neighbours, there would be no one complaining about noise at 3am.

However, the downside is the severely increased risk of drunk people drowning.

Museum/gallery

The fort would make a perfect war museum if many of the existing structures were kept intact and refurbished to look how they did throughout periods of history. If bought by an organisation like the Imperial War Museum, it could become an offshoot attraction that visitors could book in advance and get to by boat to impress visiting relatives. Your dad might not have liked Covent Garden but a boat ride and some guns would probably be enough to cancel that out.

Air traffic control/helicopter pad for Boris Island

London Mayor Boris Johnson has been desperate to build an airport in the Thames Estuary for years. Yesterday, Boris made a last ditch attempt to get people on his side, publishing a report saying the Boris Island airport is a more long-term and cost-effective proposal then expanding Heathrow or Gatwick.

City Hall could buy the fort and use it to courier VIPs to the airport by helicopter, or use it as air traffic control. Something tells us overshooting the runway is more of a problem when there’s water at the end.

Prison

The fort could become an Alcatraz-style maximum security prison. The thick walls and surrounding river would make it harder for prisoners to escape, and the beautiful Thames views would make them long for the freedom they once had and be less likely to reoffend (yes, we’re clutching at straws). Still, bring on HMP Thames.

Nuclear/zombie bunker

Zombies fort

An artist’s impression of how the fort might look in a zombie apocalypse

When the apocalypse comes (and going by global politics in 2014, it’s on its way) what better place to shelter than a bomb-proof fort surrounded by water? If you put some windows in, it would stand a better chance of lasting out a nuclear winter than most London buildings, plus, you could hang a fishing rod over the side to catch food (if you’d dare eat anything from the Thames Estuary).

Also, since science hasn’t yet proven the living dead can swim, we think it would be pretty safe in the event of a zombie outbreak too. By the time the undead stagger across at low tide, the river would rise and sweep them all away.

Me first!

Bond villain lair

Westminster has been the traditional location for power-crazed individuals plotting to take over the world. However, Bond villains normally choose somewhere slightly more incognito – and yet still somehow “showy”.

If you’re an evil mastermind in the market for something like that, what could be better than the middle of the Thames? It has a tower you can shoot at people from, plenty of space for a dungeon and easy access to the river, where bodies can be readily disposed of – all within a short speedboat ride to central London.

Any ideas we’ve missed? Tweet me your thoughts @robynvinter

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