After much delay and consternation, it looks like the proposed large-scale prison in Wrexham could finally receive the planning permission it requires after it has emerged that the majority of the council have backed the concept.
Coming in at a cost of an estimated £250m, the plans have been courting some controversy from the public and conservationists but this has not deterred organisers as they ploughed ahead after receiving the thumbs up from the Ministry of Justice to use the old Firestone tyre factory as the place for the construction.
A much-welcomed boost will be available to Wrexham’s economy after an austere and often difficult period for the region following the fallout from the recession. £23m per year is reported as the turnover for the prison with an impressive 750 jobs also likely to be created after the build is completed.
The delay in plans have been pointed at the council’s lack of experience in dealing with such a large operation so their caution cannot be faulted, especially when you consider some of the opposition’s strong stance on such a project.
One person who has done a lot for employment in Wrexham is Mario Kreft. Responsible for 500 jobs in the area, he had this to say on the subject: “The sheer number and range of jobs this will generate will be enormous, particularly if North Wales gets organised and sets up proper training for prison officers and management and administrative staff.
“This all adds to the portfolio of jobs and while the social reasons are the most important, the economic benefits have to be taken into consideration too.
“The spin-offs for the local economy will be huge with opportunities to provide goods and food, which could benefit farming as well as sub-contracted services.
“This could provide the building industry in North Wales with the chance to tender for major contracts and creating much needed local jobs,” he added.
“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.”
Whether or not the promising project goes ahead remains to be seen so make sure you stay glued to NorthWales.com for any developments as they arrive.
“prison” by www.flickr.com/photos/articnomad/