Over £9 million will be spent on improving fire safety at Gartree Prison near Harborough

The scheme is due to go ahead over the next year

Friday, 1st October 2021, 10:27 am
Over £9 million is to be poured into improving fire safety at Gartree Prison near Market Harborough.

Over £9 million is to be poured into improving fire safety at Gartree Prison near Market Harborough.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has been given planning permission by Harborough council to replace ageing staircases in three wings.

The scheme is due to go ahead over the next year.

The critical upgrade will also include ventilation improvements and better fire alarms, electrical systems and a guaranteed power supply.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “As part of our ongoing work to make prisons safer we are carrying out important upgrades at HMP Gartree.”

The work is poised to be carried out as a huge new £300 million high-security jail is set to be built by the 56-year-old prison at Gartree.

The MoJ is pushing ahead with the project to build the prison for 1,700 male prisoners despite admitting the local community has got real “concerns” over the proposals.

The Ministry has now submitted a planning application to Harborough council just weeks after the controversial blueprint for the Category B establishment emerged.

The huge project would create up to 700 jobs – and plough about £75 million into the Harborough economy.

The MoJ is setting out to build one of the country’s biggest and greenest new jails beside the existing high-security prison after staging an extensive public consultation in the summer.

Worried people in nearby villages such as Lubenham and Foxton, as well as Gartree itself, said they are seriously concerned the initiative will trigger far more traffic – and clog up narrow country roads.