More than 600 jobs are set to be created as construction starts on the UK’s first all-electric prison at Full Sutton near York.
The new prison – due to open in 2025 – will hold nearly 1,500 prisoners.
According to a government spokesperson, they “will spend their time behind bars learning the skills they need to find work on release, as part of the government’s drive to cut re-offending and keep the public safe”.
The site will be the first prison in the UK to run solely on electricity, with solar panels and heat pump technology. That means it will use 78% less energy than HMP Wormwood Scrubs – a traditional Victorian prison – cutting energy costs to taxpayers by over £1.1 million a year.
A competition to select an operator to run the new prison will be launched later this year. Companies bidding will be asked to produce a ‘jobs blueprint’ setting out how they would work with local businesses to train-up prisoners with the skills most sought by local employers.
Minister for prisons and probation,Damian Hinds, said: “The new prison at Full Sutton will protect the public and the public purse, using the latest technology to cut energy costs.
“Giving prisoners the skills in demand by local businesses will help them find work and turn over a new leaf – cutting reoffending and making our streets safer.”
The new jail will be supporting former prisoners into work before it even opens its doors – with at least 50 ex-offenders to be employed by construction firm Kier.
The building project is also set to boost jobs in the area, with a quarter of those working on the build and 40% of the construction spend falling within 50 miles.
MD of Kier Construction Liam Cummins said: “We will deliver this new prison as a cutting-edge facility, built on engineering excellence that we have utilised on other projects, and using innovative sustainable methods which will achieve net zero in operation.