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Government ministers visit site of new build prison at Wellingborough

Published Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Officials visit Wellingborough Prison to mark work starting on site.

On Tuesday17 September representatives from Kier, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), Borough Council of Wellingborough and Northamptonshire County Council, were joined by the Secretary of State for Justice, Robert Buckland at the new build prison at Wellingborough. 

The new £253m category C resettlement prison is on the same site as the former HMP Wellingborough which closed in 2012 and it will provide a modern facility which will create a safe and secure environment for staff and prisoners.

The facility will provide 1,680 resettlement prison places, with state-of-the-art facilities to encourage rehabilitation amongst inmates. It will feature windows with no bars and smaller wings holding just 20 men, in line with the MoJ’s commitment to building an environment conducive to rehabilitation.

Key to the project is a collective commitment to engage with the local community, with the visit also marking the launch of the Wellingborough CITB construction skills centre.    

Working closely with Kier – who themselves will create hundreds of jobs throughout the construction phase – the skills centre will see over 800 local people being trained. This is in addition to the 50 apprenticeship opportunities Kier and its supply chain partners are making available during the course of construction.

James Hindes, managing director strategic projects at Kier, said: “It was great to welcome Robert Buckland MP and Lucy Frazer MP to the site of the new Wellingborough prison. We’re very proud to deliver this project and use our vast experience in new-build custodial facilities and modern methods of construction to deliver a first-class rehabilitative environment.

“We are dedicated to be investing in the communities in which we work and our commitment to apprenticeships and job opportunities will not only help address the skills shortage that our industry faces but also provide a lasting legacy for the people of Wellingborough.”

A huge amount of work has been undertaken behind the scenes to deliver this project through offsite manufacture. As part of the scheme, repeatable, standardised components are being created and around 80% of the digital design has been standardised. Doing this means that the design and components can be used on subsequent MoJ prison projects, heling to achieve the government’s aspiration of 10,000 new prison spaces.

Leader of the Borough Council of Wellingborough, Cllr Martin Griffiths, added: “We have worked hard with our MP Peter Bone to bring, what will be the country’s flagship prison, to Wellingborough.

“It will deliver a huge financial boost to our area and will provide local jobs and apprenticeships in the construction stage and hundreds of jobs once open.”

Cllr Jason Smithers, Northamptonshire County Council cabinet member for highways and place, said: “I’m delighted that work has now started on Wellingborough Prison. It’s very fitting that the launch of our Construction Skills Hub project is here at the site of this project as many of the people who will learn skills on the courses will help contribute to the build of this marvellous facility in our county.”