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Mitie Care & Custody awarded contract for UK’s first all-electric ‘green’ prison

Mitie Care & Custody has been awarded the contract to operate HMP Millsike, the UK’s first all-electric prison that will provide around 1,500 places. 

Image courtesy Ministry of Justice

Due to open next year, the Category C prison is the third new prison being built as part of the government’s £4 billion prison expansion programme, delivering 20,000 new places.  

The appointment follows a competitive bidding process where Mitie Care & Custody set out a strong proposal.  

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When opened, the category C prison in Yorkshire will hold 1,500 prisoners who will spend their sentences learning the skills they need to find work on release as part of the government’s drive to cut reoffending and keep the public safe.  

In addition, Mitie Care & Custody has committed to deliver drug treatment that supports abstinence-based recovery for prisoners in prison and after their release, a learning package tailored to prisoners to help them boost their skills, and 1,000 living wage jobs for prison leavers over the course of the contract. 

Prisons Minister Edward Argar said: "We are creating modern and secure prisons with rehabilitation at their heart so we can turn offenders lives around for good and cut crime and reoffending further.

"We are building 20,000 prison places now that we are keeping the most dangerous offenders behind bars for longer and I look forward to seeing Mitie Care & Custody’s innovative approach in action when HMP Millsike opens next year."

HMP Millsike will run solely on electricity, making it the first of its kind in the UK. The build will use solar panels, heat pump technology and more efficient lighting systems to run the prison, meaning that it will use approximately a quarter of the energy used to heat traditional Victorian prisons.

The government believes that a mix of public, voluntary and private sector involvement is key to the success of our prisons and it has been shown to introduce improvements and deliver value for money for taxpayers. Appointing Mitie Care & Custody as a new private operator of prisons helps to increase the diversity and resilience of the market and brings fresh ideas and approaches.  

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The building of the prison has already provided offenders with valuable work experience, with prisoners on day release supporting its construction, learning key construction skills, as well as transferable skills such as teamwork, communication and organisation that will help them find jobs at the end of their time in prison.  

Over £117 million has been invested in the local community through the construction so far, and Mitie Care & Custody will employ over 500 people when the prison is operational. 

Danny Spencer, Managing Director, Mitie Care & Custody, said: "As proud partners to the public sector, we are pleased to have been awarded this contract to operate HMP Millsike.  

"With our experience delivering critical public services to support the immigration, justice and care sectors, as well as our expertise in facilities transformation and decarbonisation, we are excited to bring a modern and caring approach to prison management at this innovative new site."

The news comes as the Ministry of Justice also confirmed Serco has been awarded a new contract to continue operating HMP Ashfield, a Category C prison in South Gloucestershire. The contract will run for 10 years.

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