Appointed to UK Ministry of Justice contract

  • Laing O’Rourke, Kier and Wates secure £225m MoJ contract
  • Three contractors form alliance to deliver 1,200 new prison places by 2025
  • Standardised design will maximise efficiency and reduce carbon emissions
  • To aid rehabilitation, project will provide educational units on sites and training and employment opportunities for prison leavers

Laing O’Rourke, Kier and Wates have been appointed by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to provide up to 1,200 new prison places across the UK with a focus on safety, security and rehabilitation.

Building on the success of the MoJ’s pioneering Alliance model, all three contractors will collaborate and share best practice to provide high quality new facilities, drive down carbon emissions and deliver social value to the prison community. Alliance members will also collaborate on how to support and work most efficiently with supply chain partners across the sites.

The prison places will be in new houseblocks with a standardised design and construction approach maximising quality, efficiency and sustainable outcomes through modern methods of construction (MMC). Each houseblock will include 60 single-occupancy rooms and be supported by larger kitchen spaces and other relevant ancillaries.

A number of the sites will contain educational areas for study and light industrial units where prisoners can take professional construction related courses. All three contractors will also provide training and employment opportunities for prison leavers to support rehabilitation.

This approach is fully aligned with the UK government’s Construction Playbook and recognises the significant benefits of Tier 1 contractors working together to drive innovation, maximise social value outcomes and create a contemporary prison estate that will deliver on the UK’s 2050 net zero carbon targets. This programme builds on the success of the Ministry of Justice’s pathfinder projects at HMP Five Wells, HMP Fosse Way, and HMP Millsike.

The three teams will immediately commence an intensive preconstruction period. Construction work is anticipated to begin in 2024, with the houseblocks set to be operationally ready from 2025.

A spokesperson for the Alliance said:

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Working in partnership together and using standardised designs, modern methods of construction, and a shared strategic supply chain enables us to drive efficiency and deliver significant value across multiple concurrent projects.

We welcome this pioneering approach from the Ministry of Justice and look forward to working with them on this programme that will see the delivery of further safe, modern, sustainable, and fit-for-purpose accommodation for the Justice system.

In addition to this programme, Laing O’Rourke, Kier and Wates are working with ISG and the MoJ in the separate Alliance 4 New Prisons (A4NP) which will deliver an additional 6,000 new prison spaces.