A NEW £100m super prison to house 2,000 prisoners is to be built in North Wales, the UK Government announced today.
The region was selected from a short-list for the project which included the North West of England and London after a determined campaign by local councils.
Now Wrexham industrial estate has been selected as the preferred location for the prison which could create more than 1,000 jobs and inject £47m into the economy.
Welsh Secretary David Jones said: “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.”
Support for the Wrexham site has been growing after the Welsh Government funded link road to the estate was opened last year.
Wrexham AM Lesley Griffiths said the area was seen as a ‘prime spot geographically’.
There is currently no prison in North Wales and the development in Wrexham is seen as a response to overcrowded and out-dated existing prisons.
It is hoped the new state of the art facility will help to improve the prisoners’ rehabilitation and therefore likely to reduce reoffending rates.
Ms Griffiths said: “I am pleased the site in Wrexham has been chosen as the location to build the new prison.
“Recent improvement to the road network coupled with the geographical location has helped prove the area at the Wrexham Industrial Estate is the standout site for the construction of the new facility.
“Significantly, Wrexham and the surrounding areas will benefit economically as jobs are created, both directly and indirectly and it offers local businesses the opportunity to provide goods and services to a substantial new development.”.
The announcement was made in Westminster by Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander.
Two potential sites have been identified at Kingmoor Park and the former Firestone factory site, on Wrexham Industrial Estate.