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A boom in prison construction work is set to provide a boost for the industry.

Glenigan’s construction market research shows that contracts worth more than £1.3 billion have been awarded for prison projects in the 12 months to August 2022, and more work is in the pipeline.

Glenigan economics director Allan Wilén comments: “In June 2020, the government made a commitment to create more than 10,000 new prison spaces and this work is now starting to filter through.”

In the 12 months to August 2022, Glenigan’s construction industry data shows the number of contracts let for prison work doubled to 28 awards as the government’s £4 billion prison estate investment plan gears up (Project ID: 15378582). Schemes in this programme are beginning to move to site with Kier just beginning construction on the £400 million Full Sutton prison project in York (Project ID: 17106042).

Contracts for prison work have been awarded in eight of the nine English regions with Yorkshire benefitting most through the Full Sutton scheme.

Outside of England, Balfour Beatty recently started work on a £110 million prison in Inverness (Project ID: 16153800)

Prison Contract Awards by Region

REGION Value of Projects (£m)
Yorkshire & Humberside 407
East of England 201.6
South East 177.1
South West 147.6
North West 136.3
Scotland 110
West Midlands 77
East Midlands 51.4
London 37.7
North East 0
Northern Ireland 0
Wales 0
TOTAL 1,345.6

Source: Glenigan

Justice League

The Ministry of Justice is the construction industry’s third biggest client after letting £1.2 billion-worth of construction contracts in the 12 months to August 2022. This figure is up from just £69 million a year ago, when the MoJ did not even feature in Glenigan’s rankings of the industry’s Top 50 clients.

The MoJ’s plans include building four new prisons and refurbishing existing sites through the Accelerated Houseblock Development Programme.

As part of this strand, Kier and Wates were awarded contracts worth £500 million in the summer to expand six prisons at Bullingdon, Channings Wood, Elmley, Highpoint, Hindley and Wayland.

Wates should start work before the end of this year on a £148 million extension of HMP Highpoint (Project ID: 22009764), a £125 million plan for two new blocks at HMP Hindley (Project ID: 17107775) and a £24 million expansion at HMP Wayland (Project ID: 22039937)

Kier should also begin construction before Christmas on a £49 million extension of HMP Bullingdon (Project ID: 17107775).

Kier is also working on a £102 million scheme at HMP Channings Wood, (Project ID: 21529539) and a £84 million expansion of HMP Elmley (Project ID: 22028909). Glenigan’s market research suggests that construction on both these schemes will start next year.

Prison work in the pipeline

There is more prison work in the planning pipeline. In the 12 months to August 2022, 19 prison schemes valued at £250,000 or more secured planning approval according to Glenigan’s research.

This figure is up from 12 approved schemes in the previous 12 months.

The total of £787 million does include the Inverness and Full Sutton schemes, but other prison projects are also coming through.

Prison Projects with Planning Approval by Region

REGION Value of Projects (£m)
Wales 471
Yorkshire & Humberside 407
Scotland 110
South West 57
South East 41
East of England 40.8
East Midlands 32
West Midlands 26
London 8
Northern Ireland 1
North East 0.0
North West 0.0
TOTAL 1,193.8

Source: Glenigan

New schemes yet to be awarded range from an £11.4 million plan for new accommodation blocks at HMP Leyhill (Project ID: 21463179) to a £240 million new prison at Grendon Springhill near Aylesbury (Project ID: 21094516).

With work on site and in the pipeline, the prison sector looks set to provide industry opportunities.

Glenigan customers can see details of all new prison construction work if part of your subscription.

Not a Glenigan customer, but would like to see detailed sales leads for all new prison construction work? Request a free demo of Glenigan today so we can show the size of the opportunity for your business.

Not a Glenigan Customer?

Request a free demo of Glenigan today so we can show the size of the opportunity for your business.