HMP Highland gets green light for £200m development

Inverness prison is set to be replaced by HMP Highland which will accommodate 200 inmates.

HMP Highland gets final go-ahead with Inverness prison development to cost £200m STV News

A development replacing one of Scotland’s smallest and oldest prisons in Inverness is to cost taxpayers more than £200m.

HMP Highland, which will be able to accommodate 200 prisoners, over 100 more than the design capacity of Inverness prison that it will replace, has been given the final go-ahead.

Original plans for the prison were estimated to cost £139.5m in a document released by the Scottish Government in January.

Justice secretary Angela Constance said: “Signing this contract marks a significant milestone for the Highlands, which will not only provide much needed additional capacity and continue the modernisation of Scotland’s prison estate but will also provide investment and jobs to the area.

“HMP Highland will deliver safe and secure accommodation with better education and health facilities to help with rehabilitation and reduce offending.

“It also means more prisoners will be accommodated locally, improving family connections and access to courts and legal representatives.

“As with all large-scale national construction projects, Brexit, high-inflation and supply chain issues have had an impact on the initial estimated costs, which we have been working hard with the prison service and suppliers to keep to a minimum.”

The Scottish Government claimed some £60m in supply chain investment will be created in the building of the new prison, to be carried out by construction giant Balfour Beatty.

Linda Pollock, deputy chief executive of the Scottish Prison Service, said: “With the support of the Scottish Government, we are committed to investing in our estate to create better environments for people to live and work.

“HMP Highland will not only increase the capacity previously available at HMP Inverness, but also provide space for quality rehabilitative work which we know gives people the greatest possible chance of a successful return to their communities on liberation.

“This project has so far seen the creation of new jobs and apprenticeships for the local area, with more to come in future.”

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