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Balfour Beatty lands early works contract on £110m Scottish prison

Posted: 7th February 2022

Balfour Beatty has been appointed to deliver the preconstruction works for HMP Highland, the £110m new prison in Inverness, Scotland.

Balfour has begun clearing the site and is carrying out detailed design work, building on initial design work carried out by Morgan Sindall subsidiary Baker Hicks. HMP Highland will house 200 inmates and aims to be operational by 2024. It will replace HMP Inverness, a Victorian-era prison that is nearly half its capacity.

Morgan Sindall was not in the running for further work on the project, with Kier, Robertson and Morrison competing against Balfour for the early works contract, as revealed by Construction News last year.

The Scottish Prison Service is expected to appoint a main contractor to carry out construction work in the autumn.

Designs for a new prison at the site were published in 2017, with a cost estimate of £66m. The project is now expected to cost between £98m-£110m. Funding issues have previously been blamed for delaying progress.

The Inverness scheme is part of a £500m investment by the Scottish Government into prisons. Other schemes include the replacement of the largest prison in Scotland, the HMP Barlinnie, which dates partly from the Victorian era, with a modernised HMP Glasgow.

Earlier this year, the UK Government’s Ministry of Justice announced a £4bn deal with Kier, Laing O’Rourke, ISG and Wates, who will deliver four new prison projects under an alliance arrangement.

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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