The Ministry of Justice has given Galliford Try a £26m contract to create the Oasis Restore Secure School in Rochester. The work here involves refurbishing and reconfiguring the old Medway secure training centre, near to HMP Cookham Wood young offenders institute, to provide three residential blocks with 49 bedrooms as well as two educational buildings and a central services building. Medway secure training centre was shut in 2020 after damning reports of children at risk of harm.
The school will see young offenders go straight from the courtroom to the classroom, with every pupil enrolled in formal education or training and encouraged into further learning or employment on release. It will be run by education provider Oasis Restore rather than the Prison Service. The old facility was run by G4S until it lost the contract in 2016 and was taken back into the public sector.
According to the Ministry of Justice, the design of the new school is based on research that shows that smaller settings, education and healthcare provision are key to rehabilitating young people in custody. So the old prison-style features at Medway are being stripped out and the finished site will look like a residential school rather than a custodial facility, within secure prison walls.
Construction work will continue until autumn 2023 when the site will be handed over to Oasis Restore, with the first pupils expected to arrive in 2024.
Elsewhere, Worthing Borough Council has appointed Galliford Try to build a £30m medical centre. The Worthing Integrated Care Centre will provide general practice, mental health, community and dentistry services, a pharmacy and other services. A multi-storey car park will also be built at the site.