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North Wales Prison in Wrexham

Project Background

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 new closed 2,100 place prison, primarily to hold Category C prisoners (adult male).

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.

Why has the Ministry of Justice chosen North Wales?

The MoJ is building a prison in North Wales because there is currently no custodial provision 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.

What is the Project’s Current Position?

When will the Prison be Built?

The MoJ expects construction work (beginning with the erection of the secure fence) to begin in the summer of 2014.

The prison is expected to be fully operational in September of 2017.

What are the Economic Benefits of the Project?

The MoJ has indicated that the prison will have major economic and social benefits in the local area, and generate wider regeneration benefits for the regional community.  

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

Local Businesses Getting Involved Early at January Supply Chain Event

It is our priority to make sure that local businesses have the maximum opportunity to benefit from the construction and operation of the prison through the supply of goods and services.  

As part of the MoJ tendering process for the build, the four main contractors have had to demonstrate how they are going to use local suppliers and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).  

We therefore worked closely with the MoJ and our partners across  North Wales, to organise a Local Supplier Engagement Event in January at Redwither Tower on the Industrial Estate.  This event gave SMEs from Wrexham and the wider region the opportunity to meet with the four main contractors and ‘pitch’ their goods and services for the construction phase.

A total of 252 local businesses were given appointments.  Businesses also had the opportunity to talk to officers from the MoJ, Welsh Government, Business Wales and Wrexham County Borough Council.

The Secretary of State for Wales, David Jones and the Prisons Minister, Jeremy Wright also attended the event and spoke to the contractors and businesses. 

Feedback from businesses was overwhelmingly positive with 96% of businesses indicating that it was a good use of their time.  83%  commented that the event also  opened up opportunities for them on other projects that the contractors were involved in.

Local businesses will have an opportunity to present their goods and services for the operational phase of the prison following the appointment of the operator.  We will let you know about this event in due course.

Site Activity Continues with Important Ecology Works

Looking after the ecology of the site is an important part of the project. One of its key assets is the great-crested newt.  Ecological works will start soon with a scheme to move this species from the development area into the specially designated ecological area.  Newt-proof fencing will be erected around the part of the site to be developed for the prison to ensure that once the newts have been moved they do not re-enter this area.  This will take approximately two weeks. 

The newts will then be collected over a month period in pitfall traps and moved to the part of the site that will not be developed.  The pitfall traps will incorporate a ‘mammal ladder’ to allow the escape of any small mammals which may be trapped.  A team of ecologists will check the traps each morning for the duration of the trapping programme. 

This ecology work will be carried out on behalf of the Ministry of Justice by The Environment Partnership and will be overseen by Natural Resources Wales.

Who will Manage the Prison?

No decision has yet been made on whether the prison will be run by the private or public sector.  We will keep you updated .