Prison event brings in 250 SMEs

More than 250 SME construction businesses, including over 100 from the Wrexham area, have taken part in a two-day event aimed at helping them find out more about a major contract to build a new prison in north Wales.

The sub-contractors from across north Wales, Cheshire and Shropshire, were able to present to Kier, Carillion, Interserve and Lend Lease - the four contractors bidding for the Ministry of Justice contract - at the event run by the North Wales Leadership Board.

The government claims the contract to build the prison at the former Firestone Factory in Wrexham will create around 1,000 jobs and bring £23m to the local economy each year.

Work is scheduled to start this summer, with the prison ready for use by 2017.

Secretary of State for Wales David Jones said: "I am pleased that many local companies have expressed an interest in helping provide the services required to build the new north Wales prison. We are committed to encouraging smaller businesses to bid for contracts.

Prisons minister Jeremy Wright said: "Small businesses are the lifeblood of our country and a real necessity for building a resilient, sustainable economy. That is why we are so keen to encourage contractors to use them in this major construction process. The prison will also be a first for north Wales, allowing offenders to be held closer to home, which will ensure better support for their rehabilitation and reintegration into the community on release.”

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