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by Staff Reporter
05 April 2024
Deal struck for delayed Inverness prison after costs rocket

Artist's impression of HMP Highland

Deal struck for delayed Inverness prison after costs rocket

A multi-million deal has been struck to build a delayed prison in the Highlands after costs spiralled.

The new Inverness jail will be larger than the ageing one it will replace and will cost £52m - far more than expected when the project was initially announced in 2011.

Justice Secretary Angela Constance said Brexit, inflation and supply chain issues had pushed prices up.

To be called HMP Highland, the facility is aimed at improving rehabilitation and education services and provide "significant investment" to the area, the Scottish Government said.

Its capacity will be 100 places larger than the design limit of the existing Inverness Prison, allowing more men from the region to be placed near to their families. 

At more than 100 years old, the ageing gaol is one of the smallest in Scotland.

The Scottish Government has now finalised a deal with construction giant Balfour Beatty for what is said will be the country's first net-zero jail.

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."

She went on: "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."

HMP Highland is being built at Eastfield Way, Inverness.

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