Representatives from Kier, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), Borough Council of Wellingborough and Northamptonshire County Council, were joined by the Justice Secretary Rt Hon Robert Buckland QC MP 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. The new site will provide a modern facility which will create a safe and secure environment for staff and prisoners.
The new build prison will provide 1,680 resettlement places, with state-of-the-art facilities to encourage rehabilitation amongst inmates. It will feature secure, sealed windows with toughened glass & narrow vents as opposed to 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 – which will be creating 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 The Rt Hon Robert Buckland QC 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.”
Justice Secretary, Rt Hon Robert Buckland QC MP, said:
“Modern and efficient jails are at the heart of the Government’s plan to create a justice system that protects law-abiding citizens and cuts crime.
“The new prison at Wellingborough will create and support hundreds of jobs, both during construction and afterwards, and will be a major boost to the local economy.
“The prison will also provide a better environment to rehabilitate offenders and ultimately keep the public safer.”
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.”
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, helping to achieve the government’s aspiration of 10,000 new prison spaces.