CLWYD SOUTH AM KEN SKATES says confirmation a new ‘super-prison’ will be built in Wrexham will provide a huge boost to the region’s economy.
The Ministry of Justice confirmed today (Wednesday, September 4) that the £250m jail – which will house 2,000 inmates – will be on the Welsh Government-owned former Firestone site on the Wrexham Industrial Estate.
Two sites were shortlisted for the new prison, which should be built by 2017, but the owners of the rival Kingsmoor Park plot last week said it was out of the running.
Labour AM Mr Skates believes there were ‘compelling’ reasons to site a prison in North Wales, which consultants believe could be worth up to £23m to the local economy.
He said: “Our region does not currently have any facilities to house local prisoners and my constituents in Clwyd South who have family in prison currently have to travel a long way to HMP Altcourse in Liverpool to visit them.
“Importantly, I feel this could help reduce crime rates in North Wales, as the odds of re-offending are 39% higher for prisoners who do not receive regular visits.”
Mr Skates is also hopeful many of his Clwyd South constituents will be able to secure work thanks to the project, which is expected to create about 1,000 jobs.
He added: “While not everybody is supportive of the prison being built here in North Wales, the potential economic benefits to the region are obvious. As well as a much-needed jobs boost, the building of the biggest jail in Britain will present huge opportunities for local businesses and provide millions of pounds worth of construction work.”
According to Office for National Statistics, 1,172 prisoners from North Wales were sent to HMP Altcourse between October 2012 and February 2013.