£250 million super prison is the best news in a generation for Wrexham

The announcement that a £250 million super prison will be built in Wrexham is the “best news the town has had in a generation”.

That’s the view of an influential group of businesspeople, Wrexham Business Professionals, who say it heralds a brighter future for the town.

The site has been confirmed as the Welsh government-owned former Firestone site on the Wrexham Industrial Estate.

The jail will created 1,000 much needed jobs and provide a £23 million a year shot in the arm for the local economy.

According to the Ministry of Justice, construction work will start next year and the new prison  should be ready by 2017

It will be a Category C prison used for inmates who cannot be trusted in open conditions but who do not have the resources and will to make a determined escape attempt.

Wrexham Business Professionals, who  campaigned to attract the prison to the town, were delighted.

Spokesperson Gill Aktinson said: “This is absolutely fantastic news for North Wales in general and Wrexham in particular.

“It is the best economic news Wrexham had had in a generation and will be a catalyst for a brighter future.

“It’s a massive boost for the local economy and the super prison will create 1,000 precious jobs that will help generate prosperity for many years to come..

“This is a once-in-generation prize the like of which we will probably never see again in North Wales because there won’t be any other 1,000-job establishments created here.

The spin-offs for the local economy wilbe huge with opportunities to provide goods and food, which could benefit farming as well as sub-contracted services.”

There was an equally enthusiastic response from Mario Kreft MBE, owner of the Wrexham based care organisation, Pendine Park.

According to Mr Kreft, the social and crime-prevention reasons for choosing North Wales were also paramount.

It will allow for easier visiting for the families of prisoners and for probation officers as well as benefits for Welsh-speakers and all this would allow for improved rehabilitation of offenders.

Mr Kreft added: “The sheer number and range of jobs this will bring will be enormous.

“There are now excellent transport links by road and rail which makes Wrexham a hub for other areas.

“North Wales has risen to the challenge before and accepted its share of social responsibility. We need prisons so why not have one in our backyard, especially as it will bring such huge economic benefits.”

Secretary of State for Justice Chris Grayling said: “I can today announce that, following the assessment of several site options and subject to local planning approval, the new prison will be built on the former Firestone site in Wrexham.

“Work will begin on-site next summer with the prison fully operational by late 2017.

“The new prison will provide up to 1,000 much-needed jobs, great opportunities for local businesses and millions of pounds worth of construction opportunities.

“It also provides North Wales with its first ever prison, offering an opportunity for offenders from the region to be closer to their homes.”

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