New Prison on Aluminium Smelter Site?
by Steve Jones
New Prison Location?
If one of two potential local sites is chosen for a proposed 1,500 place prison for North Wales, up to 550 direct jobs could be created.
There is land available at the Anglesey Aluminium Metals site outside Holyhead, following the closure of the smelter in September 2009. Also a possibility is the former Shell site at Rhosgoch near Amlwch.
Anglesey County Council along with the North Wales Criminal justice Board have put forward the above two sites, to be considered along with other locations in North Wales and the North West of England.
Competition will come from the former military camp at Morfa near Tywyn in Gwynedd, the former Owen's Corning fibreglass plant near Wrexham and a business park outside St Asaph.
The Ministry of Justice will commission private consultants to carry out an assessment of the potential sites before a final shorlist is drawn up.
A spokesman for the North Wales Criminal Justice Board believes that this is the "last chance" for North Wales to get a prison. If the North West of England gets the go-ahead, any future demand will be met from that location rather than North Wales.
The view taken is that there is a need for a prison in the region so that it can offer better prospects for rehabilitation, which in turn should lead to reduced reoffending and crucially a fall in the victims of crime.
One major economic benefit for Anglesey should either the former smelter or Shell site be chosen is that between 400 and 550 direct jobs would be created. In addition to that there would be significant job creation in support businesses and an increased demand for housing.
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