ISG, Kier, Laing O’Rourke and Wates have been appointed to the Ministry of Justice’s (MoJ) £1billion New Prisons Programme to build four new adult male prisons across the UK - creating over 6,000 new, modern, prison places with a core focus on safety, security and rehabilitation.

The programme was appointed through the Crown Commercial Services (CCS) framework. It uses a pioneering Alliance form of contract, with all four contractors collaborating on a delivery methodology that prioritises modern methods of construction (MMC) – incorporating standardised components, platform design for manufacture and assembly (P-DfMA) and digitisation of the construction process.

This approach is fully aligned with the government’s Construction Playbook and recognises the significant benefits of Tier 1 contractors working together to drive innovation, maximise social value outcomes and create a contemporary prison estate that will deliver on the UK’s 2050 net zero carbon targets.

The Alliance 4 New Prisons (A4NP) will initially develop the design for four new prisons – the first of which will be at Full Sutton, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, with a further three locations to be confirmed.

The A4NP will develop a standardised design and construction approach that can be deployed across each of the four prison sites, maximising procurement efficiencies and quality standards through the use of offsite manufactured components. This strategic capital programme builds on the success of the MoJ’s pathfinder common design prisons at HMP Five Wells and Glen Parva, with designer alliance, Perfect Circle, refining this intent across this latest programme of works.

The four contractors will immediately commence an intensive preconstruction period, which is anticipated to conclude early in 2022 – ahead of construction proper at HMP Full Sutton in summer 2022.

James Hindes, managing director at Kier Strategic Projects, said: “Bringing together four Tier 1 contractors to work collaboratively through this programme is a progressive approach by the Ministry of Justice, and one which will not only be beneficial in harnessing innovation across the industry, but it will also create new jobs and help the MoJ to better rehabilitate offenders.

“Evolving improvements in design will help us to deliver on the government’s sustainability targets and, as one of the partners, we bring experience and expertise gained from the delivery of HMP Five Wells in Wellingborough, which uses a range of build methods including MMC.”

Zoe Price, COO UK Construction at ISG, commented: “The innovative use of an alliance model by the MoJ unlocks the vast potential of the UK’s most forward thinking and creative Tier 1 contractors to partner on a repeatable construction solution that lies at the heart of the government’s Construction Playbook aspirations. This is a radical step forward by the MoJ as we prioritise whole life costs, embodied carbon, circular principles and focus on maximising the societal benefit of this significant capital expenditure and reflects an exemplar framework for building back better.”

Martin Staehr, Director at Laing O’Rourke added: “The new programme is an ambitious one and it is pleasing that the Ministry of Justice is committed to using modern methods of construction to standardise design between prisons to help deliver them better, faster and greener. It's also a great example of government commitment to efficient procurement, collaboration, and ultimately, better project outcomes. We're delighted to be a part of the Alliance and look forward to harnessing the full capability of our business and our alliance partners."

Stephen Beechey, Group Public Sector Director at Wates Group, said: “Building on our long-standing relationship with the Ministry of Justice, we are looking forward to supporting the Government in delivering modern, efficient prisons that are fit for the future. Using our collective expertise, innovation and creativity, we are confident that we can not only deliver buildings that help to improve rehabilitation and cut reoffending, but also boost the transition to net zero by deploying sustainability strategies throughout design, the supply chain and delivery.”

 

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