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Volume 463: debated on Thursday 19 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many new prison places will be opened (a) through refurbishment, (b) on existing prison sites and (c) on new sites in each of the next five years. (150142)

NOMS undertakes a rolling programme of refurbishment on the prison estate. As schemes come back into use following refurbishment, other schemes are taken forward and the accommodation is taken out of use.

8,000 new prison places were announced by the Home Secretary in July 2006 and a further 1,500 places by the Lord Chancellor on 19 June. The programme is still in the planning stages and the number of places to be provided beyond 2007 has not been finalised.

The majority of these new places will be within existing prisons, but at least two new prisons will be built (Belmarsh West and Maghull) with a combined total of 1,200 places. In addition, a new 350 place prison (HMP Kennet) opened in June 2007.