The building of a new Magilligan Prison at a cost of around £200m (€222.5m) moved a step closer today with the appointment of consultants to manage the design and building programme.
The Northern Ireland Prison Service said international consultants WYG had been selected for the job after a public procurement competition.
The new prison, on the site of the existing jail, will house 800 inmates and could be complete by 2015 – providing the government comes up with the money.
Justice Minister Paul Goggins announced plans for the new jail nearly 18 months ago.
Prison Service director Robin Masefield said today: “This is another significant step in the redevelopment of Magilligan Prison, which is in need of replacement.
“It is essential that the design of the new prison is future-proofed and that it provides cost effective operational flexibility.
“We are delighted that WYG are on board to help us deliver our vision of a state-of-the-art prison that will ensure the wellbeing of prisoners, staff and visitors alike and which will also deliver maximum value for money in running costs, best practice in sustainability and contribute positively to the local community.”
Clive Anderson, managing director of WYG Management Services, said: “We believe the experience of our team in managing major prison developments elsewhere in the UK was a major factor in our success and that we can bring benefits to the taxpayer by working to reduce both the timescale and cost for building the new Magilligan Prison.
“We look forward to working with the Prison Service on this exciting venture.”