No confirmation on reports of preferred bidder to run Wellingborough's new prison

Several news outlets are reporting G4S is the preferred bidder to run it, but this has not been confirmed by the Ministry of Justice

By Stephanie Weaver
Thursday, 9th July 2020, 4:29 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th July 2020, 4:30 pm
Wellingborough Prison before it was demolished
Wellingborough Prison before it was demolished

Several news sources are reporting that G4S is the preferred bidder to run Wellingborough's new £253 million prison.

Danny Shaw, home affairs correspondent for BBC News, tweeted this afternoon that BBC News understands that G4S has been selected as the preferred bidder to run the new 'mega prison' at Wellingborough.

And his tweet went on to say: "The company has been told it’s been chosen & official announcement expected in next few weeks, but award of contract has not yet ratified."

Richard Ford, home correspondent of The Times, has also tweeted today saying: "G4S gets contract to run £253m 1680 space Wellingborough prison."

However, the Northants Telegraph has spoken to the Ministry of Justice and a spokesman said: "There is nothing we are able to say at the moment."

This newspaper also asked G4S for a comment and the spokesman referred us back to the Ministry of Justice.

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 £253 million prison began last year and it 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.