Demonstration outside Wellingborough prison planned for Friday

The prison will house 1680 inmates when completed.
The prison will house 1680 inmates when completed.

Anti-prison activists will be staging a demonstration outside the building site of the new HMP Wellingborough prison this Friday (Aug 9).

Activists from across the country will be making their protest known against the building of the £253m prison, which is being built by Kier.

The demonstration follows an event last month where activists from Community Action Against Prison Expansion (CAPE) occupied the lobby of the construction firm’s headquarters.

The campaign group says that money would be better spent on initiatives that help local communities.

A CAPE spokesman said: “The current prison expansion project, the Prison Estates Transformation Programme, is the largest in generations, expanding the current capacity of the prison system 10,000 spaces.”

Campaigners have been placing increased pressure against Kier and other private companies contracted and set to profit off of the construction and operation of the new prisons.

“Amid cuts to education, social services, health care and housing the government has agreed to spend billions to expand its violent and failing prison system. Campaigners demand the government and private companies withdraw their expansion contracts and instead invest in projects that will benefit our communities; “build communities not cages.”

The prison, which will house 1,680 inmates and is set to open in 2021, is being built on the site of the town’s former prison which was closed in 2012 because it was outdated.

It has been welcomed by the town’s MP Peter Bone and council leader Martin Griffith as they say the build and running of the detention centre will create jobs and boost the economy.

A construction skills centre to provide skills for those who are unemployed, ex-military and ex-offenders will also be built. The project will be managed by Northamptonshire county council after the Department of Education awarded £1m of funding.