UK’s biggest prison on verge of full capacity

folder_openCivic & Public Sector, High Security

The biggest prison in the UK should reach full capacity soon – with construction work on track to end next month to allow the opening of the third and final wing.

The first prisoners were moved to HMP Berwyn in Wrexham on 28 February into the Bala wing, the first of three, all designed ultimately to house 702 prisoners.

The second, Alwen, opened last month, with Ministry of Justice (MoJ) bosses confirming the third and final wing, Ceiriog, is on schedule to open next month, bringing the total capacity of adult male offenders to 2,106 – 500 more than the biggest current prison in England and Wales was built to hold

The majority will be Category C, meaning they have been assessed as having a lower likelihood of escaping, though some Category B prisoners could also be accommodated.

Governor Russ Trent has said his emphasis is on rehabilitation, with staff calling the prisoners ‘men’, who will have ‘rooms’ rather than cells.

The construction of HMP Berwyn began in May 2015 and cost £250m.

The UK government has pledged to spend £1.3bn on new prisons, and after the riots in HMP Birmingham last year, Justice Secretary Liz Truss said the new Welsh prison ‘would help reduce overcrowding across the estate’.  Nine more new prisons are expected to be built, with five open by 2020.

Binns Fencing won the order to supply and install almost 2km of 5.2m high prison-standard secure perimeter fencing for the Wrexham super-prison.  Manufacturer Zaun supplied the MoJ approved prison posts and fencing mesh.

Binns has proposed new perimeter security and PIDs procurement and delivery model. It provides a single point of contact for the complete perimeter security package, providing greater opportunity for innovation, reducing complexity, and managing multiple contractors.

It believes this could offer significant cost savings on PIDs cable installation and contract and project management costs.

HMP Berwyn is already anticipated to be the cheapest prison to run per prisoner in England and Wales.  It is expected to run at £14,000 per head per year, including overheads, compared with £40,170 at Parc in Bridgend, built under the government’s Private Finance Initiative and operated by G4S.

About Zaun

Zaun Limited is the sole remaining manufacturer of welded and woven mesh fencing systems that manufactures the entire system in the UK.  Zaun makes the mesh, fencing panels, posts, clamp bars and fixings at its state-of-the-art five-acre production facility in Wolverhampton in the West Midlands.  Products have been tested and approved by testing organisations including CPNI, LPCB and Secured by Design.

Zaun works very closely with all stakeholders within the business including employees, local, national and international suppliers and a long-established customer base of fencing contractors to design, manufacture and supply high-quality fencing systems, increasingly often providing expertise in integrating PIDs and other systems into holistic security solutions.

Zaun was founded in 1996 and remains a private company solely owned by co-founder Alastair Henman with a regional office in Dubai.  They are certified to the ISO 9001 quality standard. It is also a member of the Perimeter Security Suppliers’ Association (PSSA), of which Alastair Henman is a director.

Zaun is a proud British manufacturer and founder member of the Made in Britain campaign, a key player in the UK fencing market and one of the fastest-growing companies in an increasingly competitive industry.

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