Legal challenge over contract to run Wellingborough's new 'mega' prison

G4S is believed to be the preferred bidder, but this has not been confirmed by them or the Ministry of Justice

By Stephanie Weaver
Thursday, 27th August 2020, 11:22 am
Updated Thursday, 27th August 2020, 11:26 am
Wellingborough Prison before it closed in 2012
Wellingborough Prison before it closed in 2012

A legal challenge has been made in relation to the contract for running Wellingborough's new prison.

Last month, several news outlets were reporting that G4S was the preferred bidder to run the new £253 million 'mega' prison, but this was not confirmed by the Ministry of Justice or G4S at the time.

The Ministry of Justice has today (Thursday) confirmed that a legal challenge has been lodged over the contract.

A spokesman for the MOJ told the Northants Telegraph: "We have received a legal challenge relating to the operating contract for the new prison at Wellingborough.

"We continue to work closely with all parties and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage."

Wellingborough's former prison was shut down in 2012 because of its poor condition.

But it was then revealed that the site would be brought back into use as part of the government's Prison Estate Transformation Programme.

Work on the new prison, which will have 1,600 inmates, began last year and is set to open in 2021.

Last October, the Ministry of Justice launched a competition asking for suggestions for the name of the new 1,680-place jail.

They said they wanted the new prison's name to embrace the history and culture of Wellingborough.

Kier is busy working on the new prison, a category C resettlement jail, which has been called a blueprint for the future generation of prisons.

Bars will be replaced with toughened glass walls and there will be several accommodation blocks with courtyard areas and central spaces for vocational training as well as faith spaces.

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