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North Wales Prison in Wrexham

Why North Wales?

In September 2013, the Secretary of State for Justice announced that the Former Firestone Site on Wrexham Industrial Estate would be the location for a North Wales Prison, the first prison for the region.

The site was selected by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) after a site search within the priority areas of North Wales, North West of England and London. The MoJ is building a prison in North Wales because there is currently no prison in the region. A prison will give offenders the opportunity to be held closer to their homes which has been shown to be an important factor in reducing reoffending. It will also be as huge boost to the North Wales economy. The construction alone is a £212 million investment.

Category of Prison

The prison will be a Category C closed prison holding adult male offenders. Category C prisons are:

“Cat C prisoners: those who cannot be trusted in open conditions but who do not have the resources and the will to make a determined escape attempt”.

It is a training and resettlement prison where the focus will be on the education training and resettlement of offenders.

Planning Permission

On 3 November 2014 full planning permission was granted for the project.

North Wales has long needed its own prison and this final approval is very welcome. This development, through its construction, running and maintenance, will bring a huge number of jobs to Wrexham and the surrounding region and give a great economic boost for North Wales’ economy".

Wales Offices Minister Alun Cairns

Operator of Prison

On 24 February 2015, Prisons Minister Andrew Selous announced that the prison will be operated by Her Majesty’s Prison Service (HMPS) The prison, which is due to open fully in 2017, will be run by an innovative new approach that will see the best of the public, voluntary and private sectors working together. HMPS will take overall ownership of the prison but with 34% of service provision outsourced – including a large industrial workshop complex.

Welsh Affairs Committee

The £212 million investment will provide good quality prison accommodation that delivers value for the taxpayer by reducing the cost per prisoner place. Recent reforms have already saved significant sums for taxpayers, and continuing to create a modern low cost prison estate is essential to further reduce the overall cost of the prison system. Once operational the North Wales Prison will also bring a huge benefit to the area, boosting the regional economy by around £23 million a year and create up to 1,000 jobs.

Over the past few months, the Welsh Affairs Committee has heard evidence from several witnesses on Prisons in Wales and the Treatment of Welsh Offenders in the Prison Estate, including Cllr Hugh Jones.

Other witnesses at this inquiry have included: the Welsh Language Society, Welsh Language Commissioner, Chief Inspector of   Prisons, Youth Justice Board for England & Wales, Prison Reform Trust, Women in Prison, Wales Governance Centre, and the final session of the inquiry saw the Committee question Andrew Selous MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Minister for Prisons, Probation and Rehabilitation, and Sarah Payne, Director, National Offender Management Service in Wales on how Welsh offenders are currently treated and plans for the future of the prison service in Wales, including the Wrexham prison.

Jobs and Apprenticeship Expression of Interest Form

An Expression of Interest form is now available if you wish to express an interestin working on the North Wales Prison Project during the Construction Phase.

All completed forms should be returned to northwalesprison@lendlease.com

Please note: There will be a separate recruitment for jobs in the prison nearer to its opening in 2016- 2017.   

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Key Facts about the Project

  • It was announced on 24 February 2014 that the prison will be run by her Majesty’s Prison Service (HMPS).
  • An Employment & Skills Symposium was held on 30 January 2015 at Glyndwr University to over 1.1 million of contracts has been awarded to North Wales suppliers and 80% of jobs attached to these contracts have been local.
  • Outline planning permission was granted in January 2014.
  • On 30 May 2014, Lend Lease was announced as the preferred contractor to construct the prison.
  • Full planning permission was granted for the project on 3 November 2014.
  • The estimated cost of the construction contract is £212 million.
  • 3 successful supplier events have taken place in Wrexham which have seen over 600 businesses attend over 5 days. 
  • Preparatory works have started on site.  This includes works, with Natural Resource Wales, towards protecting the European-protected Great Crested Newt as well as butterflies such as the Grizzled Skipper. These will have new homes in the Ecological Mitigation Area.
  • An Employment, Skills and Engagement Committee has been established by Lend Lease to drive the delivery of commitments linked to local employment, apprenticeships, work placements, school engagements and training. The first meeting was held in Wrexham in September.
  • The first work placements have already taken place when 29 Coleg Cambria students visited the site to learn about the survey and ecological stages of construction.
  • The North Wales Prison Regional Stakeholder Group has been established by the MoJ and the National Offender Management Service (NOMS). The objective of the group is to engage North Wales regional main stakeholders with the delivery of the new prison. The group membership consists of the MoJ, NOMS, Health, Probation Service, Police, Fire, Ambulance, Regional Local Authorities, WLGA and Welsh Government.
  • The emergency services and health board are undertaking their own work to assess, and prepare for, the impact of the prison.
  • It has been our priority to ensure that the local community has been kept involved and engaged in the project.
  • We have visited a number of prisons, including HMP Oakwood, the last new prison to be built, in order to better understand the workings of a prison and the impact on the locality.

When will the Prison be Built?

  • Lend Lease have continued with the early works on site. Orders have been placed for these works, with local businesses being successful in securing some of these early packages.
  • The secure perimeter fencing is currently being erected and will be complete by the end March 2015, together with the foundations for the first house block and the car park.
  • The planting of the trees along Bridge Road took place in January 2015 and 2,106 daffodils were also planted before Christmas.
  • The first house block is expected to be open in February 2017 with the prison becoming fully operational in September 2017.

Economic Benefits

The project is expected to bring a significant economic boost to the local and regional economy, during both construction and operation.

We are working hard to make sure that the economic benefits — jobs, work for local suppliers etc - stay within the local and regional area.

Construction

Lend Lease have committed to delivering the following local economic and community benefits during construction:

  • around a fifth of the total contract value (circa £30 million) to be spent on local businesses;
  • half of all labour utilised on the project to be recruited locally;
  • around 100 apprenticeships (recruited locally, where possible) covering all age groups with the opportunity to progress into employment;
  • around 500 days of work placement schemes from, for example local schools and colleges, in year 1, increasing each year during construction;
  • a commitment to the up-skilling of workers employed in the construction of the prison;
  • workshops to support SMEs and local business to improve their skills in securing tenders;
  • working with schools to offer assistance in areas such as career assemblies CV and interview preparation, work experience and teacher support; and
  • one day per year per staff member to be spend on work to meet community needs/objectives.

Current Position

Jobs and Apprenticeship

An EOI is now available to complete if you are interested in working on the North Wales Prison Project during the Construction Phase.

All completed forms should be returned to northwalesprison@lendlease.com

Please Note: This is not a job application. There will be a separate recruitment application for jobs working in the prison nearer to its opening 2016-2017.

How to become part of the Lend Lease Supply Chain?

If you work in the construction trade and are interested in tendering for works on the North Wales Prison please follow the links below to express an interest:

All other Non-construction trades can register their interest via email to: northwalesprison@lendlease.com

Operational

Estimates indicate that the project is worth around £23m in annual revenue to the local economy.

The Employment & Skills Committee

The Employment, Skills & Engagement Committee has been formed to look at ways to maximise the Lend Lease's local commitments during the construction phase – representatives from the Ministry of Justice, National Offender Management Services, Lend Lease, Wrexham County Borough Council and the North Wales Economic Ambition Board make up this Committee.

Rita Patel-Miller has been appointed by Lend Lease to lead the Committee as a Community & Engagement Manager. In January, the Committee hosted the Employment & Skills Symposium in Glyndwr University which saw approx 100 stakeholders attend this prestigious event.

The purpose of the event was to bring partners and stakeholders together to examine how best to deliver and maximise on Apprenticeships, Work Placements and Local Employment.

Employment & Skills Symposium

The event brought together local authorities, work and education providers and schools from across North Wales to discuss how to deliver Lend Lease's commitments relating to apprenticeships, work placements and local employment in a co-ordinated and accessible way.

Wales Offices Minister Alun Cairns highlighted the benefit to the local economy and the efforts being made by the UK Government to sustain local jobs in the supply chains.   Sarah Payne, Director of the National Offender Management Service in Wales, announced at the event “that the North Wales Prison will be an exemplar Flagship Project”.

“Wrexham Prison provides an excellent opportunity to generate jobs and growth in North Wales. 280 construction related businesses attended out procurement event last year and already £1.1million pounds has been assigned to local businesses – well above the target expected this early.

With over 80% of those employed on site from the local area, the North Wales economy is already feeling the benefit and I am confident that through our ambitious plans, it will continue to do so over the coming months and years”

Wales Offices Minister Alun Cairns

Naming of the Prison

No decision has yet been made on the name of the prison. In fact, the MoJ hopes to get the regional community involved in this process in the near future.   The normal practice is to ask schools and community groups for name suggestions and often it is run as a competition.  

We understand that the MoJ would look for a name that is some way attached to the area or region, for example, Kennet and Dovegate prisons are named after rivers running through the area. Alternatively, there may be a historic association as was the case with Parc prison in South Wales, with the former hospital that sat on site.

You may be surprised to hear that the final approval on the name of the prison lies with the Queen, as it will be ‘Her Majesty’s Prison’.

Who will Manage the Prison?

New prison to be run by Her Majesty's Prison Service (HMPS)

Prisons Minister, Andrew Selous announced on 24 February 2014 that the new prison in Wrexham will be operated by Her Majesty’s Prison Service (HMPS). The prison, which is due to open in 2017, will be run by an innovative new approach that will see the best of the public, voluntary and private sectors working together. HMPS will take overall ownership of the prison but with 34% of service provision outsourced – including a large industrial workshop complex.

I am pleased to announce that the new prison in North Wales will be operated by Her Majesty’s Prison Service as part of an innovative new approach to running prisons. Our combination of benchmarking and outsourcing services is saving taxpayers around £300 million a year and now it will allow us to deliver a truly efficient prison in Wrexham that is based on best practice from the opening of previous prisons.This prison reflects the true success of our reforms in helping to create a modern low-cost prison estate, and is proving a real boost to the North Wales economy with £1.1 million already committed to local companies – well ahead of the £250,000 target for 2014.

Prisons Minister, Andrew Selous

The £212 million investment will provide good quality prison accommodation that delivers value for the taxpayer by reducing the cost per prisoner place. Recent reforms have already saved significant sums for taxpayers, and continuing to create a modern low cost prison estate is essential to further reduce the overall cost of the prison system. Once operational the North Wales prison will also bring a huge benefit to the area, boosting the regional economy by around £23 million a year and create up to 1,000 jobs.

School Engagement - How North Wales Prison is Built

Rita Patel-Miller has been appointed as the Community & Engagement Manager for Lend Lease. Rita will be responsible for the Community Engagement element of the project and she is currently in the process of compiling a work placement programme for schools across North Wales.

If you are a school located within North Wales and are interested in learning more about the North Wales Prison Project. Please email northwalesprison@lendlease.com