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Opinions divided over planned Wrexham prison

Critics of a new super prison in Wrexham believe violence, drug abuse and disorder will be inevitable at a site of its size and scale.

Supporters of the project argue it'll be a boost to the local economy and create jobs. But experts say problems at newly built prisons of similar sizes prove its difficult to keep inmates under control, as Alexandra Lodge reports.


Concerns over planned Wrexham prison to be raised

The prison is intended to house 2,000 prisoners Credit: Ministry of Justice

Concerns will be raised later over the size and scale of the plans for a new super-prison in Wrexham by a panel of experts at an event in Cardiff Bay.

The UK government says the jail will cover 26 hectares at the former Firestone factory on the Wrexham Industrial Estate, house around 2,000 inmates and employ nearly 800 people.

Those who welcome the plans say it will be beneficial for local economy.

But opponents say the prison will bring disruption and argue that small prisons can find it easier to perform better than large ones. They also say that the development would have a detrimental effect on existing Welsh Government responsibilities.

Prison will be a 'significant boost' to the economy

David Jones MP is urging local companies in north Wales to seize the business opportunities presented by the proposed development of a 'super-prison' in Wrexham.

The £250m worth of investment in a new prison in Wrexham is a development that will not only improve prisoner welfare, but will also be a significant boost to the economy of north east Wales.

It is set to create up to 1,000 jobs and contribute around £23m per annum, providing huge construction opportunities and great possibilities for local businesses.

I want to ensure that north Wales companies take advantage of this unique opportunity, show that we have some of the very best suppliers, and demonstrate the quality of our work and the value we can offer.

– David Jones MP

Businesses due to meet at 'super-prison' site

Artists' impression Credit: Ministry of Justice

Hundreds of local businesses are expected to meet contractors today to see if they can work together to build the biggest prison in Wales and England.

Pending planning approval, the work at the site in Wrexham should start this summer. £250m is being invested in the development.

Prisons Minister Jeremy Wright and Secretary of State for Wales David Jones will visit the former Firestone factory site where the prison is scheduled to be built.

They will also meet with local companies and the prime contractors bidding for the construction contract.

Some people living in the local area oppose the plans for the 'super-prison' saying it will have a negative effect on the community.


North Wales 'super-prison' announced

A £100m prison is to be built in North Wales. The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, made the announcement as part of a series of investments in infrastructure. Welsh Secretary David Jones has welcomed the news.

Right from the start, I have put forward my support for north Wales to be considered as a viable option for a new prison with the Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, and I am delighted with today’s announcement.

A prison in north Wales will create economic opportunities, new jobs, and will significantly accelerate the government’s strategy of replacing old, uneconomic prisons with modern, more cost-effective facilities.

I know that having the prison in north Wales is particularly important for families - especially Welsh speakers and professional advisors, and its significant capacity will go some way to help the current issue of space shortage.

– David Jones MP, Secretary of State for Wales

2,000 inmate prison could be built in North Wales

A new 'super-prison' to hold more than 2,000 inmates could be built in North Wales, the Ministry of Justice has announced.

The announcement comes as the Government begins a feasibility study for upgrading the UK's prisons.

The new prison - which larger than any facility in the UK - is likely to be located in North Wales, the North West or in London.

Four new 'houseblock' prisons will also be built - one of which will be situated at the HMP Parc site in Bridgend.