Prison construction is set for a £2.5 billion boost as the Ministry of Justice puts major framework to expand the prison system in place.

A raft of contractors have been appointed to the MoJ Constructor Services Framework, which is being used to support the government’s pledge to spend £4 billion creating 20,000 new prison places (Project ID: 15378582).

Contractors have been appointed in different lots and £625 million will be spent through a national agreement covering schemes valued from £10 million to £30 million. Bowmer & Kirkland, Galliford Try, Henry Brothers, ISG, Kier, Lendlease, Morgan Sindall and Wates are on this lot.

Work in this price band identified by Glenigan’s construction market research as still to be awarded ranges from a £18.5 million plan for two house blocks at HMP Standford Hill (pictured) in Kent (Project ID: 21480670) to a similarly valued plan for a pair of houseblocks at HMP Ford in West Sussex (Project ID: 21472039).


Regional plans

The Ministry of Justice has also set up four regional lots to deliver spending of up to £750 million on projects individually valued between £5 million and £10 million.

In Wales and Central England, Bowmer & Kirkland, Henry Brothers, Henry Boot, ISG and Wates will compete for £203 million-worth of work, such as a £6 million extension of HM Long Lartin in Evesham (Project ID: 21374948).

Spending of up to £195 million is expected in the South of England, where EW Beard, Galliford Try, Morgan Sindall, VINCI and Wates will be in the running for schemes such as a £6.3 million prison kitchen at Sheerness in Kent (Project ID: 22119190).

In the North of England, Bowmer & Kirkland, Henry Boot, Henry Brothers, ISG and VINCI will vie for £240 million-worth of work, while in London and the East of England, Bowmer & Kirkland, Galliford Try, Morgan Sindall, Wates and Willmott Dixon will compete for £113 million-worth of projects.

Small jobs, big spending

More than £1.1 billion will be spent on projects valued at up to £5 million with one contractor appointed in each region and two others held in reserve in case this work is not taken up. This makes the likes of Wates – the successful contractor in Northern England – favourite for jobs such as the proposed £1.9 million redevelopment of probation offices in Consett (Project ID: 22133318).

Other successful contractors in this category include Galliford Try in London and Eastern England, Kier in Southern England and ISG in Wales and Central England.

Big spenders

The Ministry of Justice has shot up Glenigan’s rankings of the industry’s biggest spending clients after commissioning £1.4 billion-worth of construction work in the 12 months to February 2023. A year ago, the Ministry of Justice was ranked 35th after awarding contracts worth £209 million but is now third.

Wates has been a major beneficiary and bagged a £279 million deal for three house blocks at HMP Highpoint (Project ID: 22009764) and a £158 million job for two house blocks at HMP Hindley (Project ID: 17107775).

Other major schemes yet to be awarded include a £42 million conversion of an office block on Newgate Street in central London into a new tribunal court (Project ID: 23000039). With a large pipeline of construction work, the Ministry of Justice looks set to remain a major industry client for years to come.

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