North Wales 'super' prison plan by UK government

Old prison cell A new "super" prison would also see the closure of six ageing jails in England

Related Stories

UK ministers say north Wales is being considered as a possible location for a so-called super prison, housing more than 2,000 inmates.

Officials are being asked to consider building the new large prison in north Wales, London or north-west England.

Plans for a prison in Caernarfon were dropped by the Ministry of Justice in 2009.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling also announced plans for extra accommodation at HMP Parc Prison in Bridgend.

Making the announcement on Thursday, Mr Grayling said the proposals were aimed at driving down the costs of running prisons across Wales and England.

Start Quote

A prison in north Wales would create economic opportunities and secure new jobs”

End Quote David Jones Welsh Secretary

"At present, we have buildings within the prison estate which date back to the 18th Century," he said in a written statement.

"Prisons are not all located where we would want them to be to best meet the needs of the courts or support resettlement and there is an annual maintenance cost of approximately £184m.

"There is clear evidence that by replacing old uneconomic places with modern prison capacity we can drive substantial savings for the taxpayer and I am determined to do just that."

As part of the plans, six prisons in England would close, accounting for 2,600 inmate places.

Largest UK jail

In their place, the minister said he wanted to "significantly increase capacity" at four existing prisons, including the privately-run Parc Prison in Bridgend.

It will see a new block built at the site, and along with three other facilities in England, will add 1,260 new places for prisoners.

But the biggest announcement has been on plans for a new super-sized prison.

"The government is to start feasibility work on a new prison that could hold more than 2,000 prisoners - around a quarter more than the largest current facility," said Mr Grayling.

Plans for a prison in Caernarfon were dropped by the Ministry of Justice in 2009

"We will consider the feasibility of sites in the north west, north Wales and in London in line with demand for places in these regions and I will provide further details to the House as this work progresses."

There has been a long-running campaign for a prison to be sited in north Wales, with a former brake factory in Caernarfon initially selected as a site in 2009.

However, those plans were then dropped, with the UK government stating the location was "not suitable".

Other sites have been put forward, including the former Anglesey Aluminium plant at Holyhead and the site of the Firestone rubber factory in Wrexham.

Welsh Secretary David Jones said he would press the case for building a prison in north Wales with his cabinet colleague the justice secretary.

The Clwyd West MP said: "A prison in north Wales would create economic opportunities and secure new jobs.

"I also know how important having a prison in north Wales would be to families and professional advisors of prisoners."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Wales stories


Features & Analysis

  • TricycleTreasure trove

    The lost property shop stuffed with diamonds, bikes... and a leg

  • Boris Nemtsov'I loved Nemtsov'

    A murder in an atmosphere of hatred and intolerance

  • Image of George from Tube CrushTube crush

    How London's male commuters set Chinese hearts racing

  • INDHUJA'Dorky tomboy'

    The Indian who attracted proposals through honesty

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Audi R8Best in show

    BBC Autos takes a look at 10 of the most eye-catching new cars at the 2015 Geneva motor show


  • Kinetic sculpture violinClick Watch

    The "kinetic sculpture" that can replicate digital files and play them on a violin

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.