Bid race starts for £75M Inverclyde women’s prison


The site of St Columba's High School, demolished to make way for the new prison.

The Scottish Prison Service has invited bids from contractors to design and build a new £75M women’s prison at Greenock near Glasgow.


HMP&YOI Inverclyde prison will house 350 prisoner cells solely for female offenders, with associated activity facilities, visits facilities, staff facilities and adminstration facilities also part of the project.


The Scottish Prison Service says a shortlist of five firms will be invited to bid for the package of work, with the invitation to tender expected to be issued to the selected contractors in early January. The prison has been planned for some time but has been beset by delay. It is now planned to open in 2017.


This new development will replace Scotland’s only female prison, Cornton Vale near Stirling, and will contain high risk and long term female inmates from across the country.


Cornton Vale had been criticised by inspectors because of ageing facilities and overcrowding. In 2011 the Scottish Government’s Commission on Women Offenders concluded that it was “not fit for purpose” and should be replaced with a smaller national centre and community prisons.


The site of the new Inverclyde Prison in Inverkip Road, Greenock was formerly home to St Columba’s High School which has already been demolished. This was originally planned as a replacement for Gateside Prison, also in Greenock, but Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said the alternative use was part of a major shake up in the way female prisoners are treated.


The design and build contract for the new prison is being advertised through the OJEU.


Photo copyright Thomas Nugent and Licenced for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence