Following an investment of £90 million, the Scottish Prison Service has unveiled its new prison for north east Scotland.
HMP and YOI Grampian is a purpose built, new community facing prison designed to house adult males, young offenders and female prisoners. The prison replaces two existing prisons – HMP Peterhead and HMP Aberdeen – and officially opens its cells for the first time in March 2014.
Work began on the project in March 2012 and reached completion in November 2013. Skanska was the main contractor on the project, whilst Holmes Miller provided all architectural services.
The 550-place prison includes the main building, an adult accommodation block, a young offenders’ block, a female prisoner block, a prisoner services building with education facilities, a gate building and an admin area. HMP and YOI Grampian also include a community reintegration building, which is designed for prisoners who are working towards being released.
Through the inclusion of a wide range of facilities the prison presents a number of opportunities for staff to engage with prisoners, allowing them to aid a prisoner’s rehabilitation back into society. The prison has been designed as a welcoming and safe environment for visitors; one that is also a child and young person friendly space too.
The idea of creating a new community prison in Scotland was first suggested in 2008, when the Scottish Government announced its intention to replace two existing prisons to create the UK’s first fully community facing facility. In October 2011, Skanska was awarded the contract to construct the new prison, with work commencing the following year.
Dominic Smith of Scottish Prison Service was the Project Manager on HMP and YOI Grampian. Speaking to Premier Construction about the project, Dominic said:
“HMP and YOI Grampian was designed to replace two very old establishments which were built in the late 1900s. Both HMP Peterhead and HMP Aberdeen were fairly old and didn’t meet modern standards, so it was decided that creating a new prison would bring facilities up to date.”
“Everything ran fine with the construction of the new prison. It was built to programme and budget.”
Whilst work was conducted on the project the existing prisoners from closed prisons HMP Peterhead and HMP Aberdeen were relocated to other prisons in Scotland. Prisoners will now be decanted to HMP and YOI Grampian ahead of the site’s official opening on 3rd March.
“Being involved with this project was very important for me. I’ve worked for the prison service for 11 years and have built three prisons, so it was very interesting work. I enjoyed working on this project.”
Established in 1993, the Scottish Prison Service is an agency of the Scottish Government. The Scottish Government strives to reduce reoffending prisoners and has 13 publicly managed prisons and two privately managed prisons in its portfolio.