Justice Minister to announce new Magilligan jail

Justice Minister to announce new Magilligan jail

JUSTICE Minister David Ford is expected to tell the Assembly on Tuesday that a new £200 million jail is to be built in Magilligan.

There had been speculation that the new prison may be built in the Ballymena area of Co Antrim.

However, the Alliance Party leader will tell MLAs that he has decided to built the new jail in Magilligan, Co Derry/Londonerry.

A consultation process into the prison’s future was carried out last year.

The Prison Service had wanted to replace it with a new jail closer to Belfast.

Mr Ford is expected to tell MLAs that Magilligan Prison will be redeveloped over the next seven years.

The prison will stay open during that period.

There will be a new accommodation block, a new central activities block, a welcome centre, and independent living units for soon-to-be-released prisoners.

The move is part of programme to upgrade prisons in Northern Ireland, including Maghaberry and Hydebank. It is expected to cost about £200m.

East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell said the employment of more than 400 prison staff – as well as jobs in the construction industry – were big factors in wanting to keep a jail at Magilligan.

“It is the Northern Ireland Prison Service. It’s not the greater Belfast Prison Service,” he said.

“There are a number of facilities in the greater Belfast area and it is important that prisoners and families and others have employment and visiting opportunities outside the greater Belfast area,” he said.




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