The former Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre is set to reopen as a Category C men’s prison, in the latest of a string of measures to boost jail capacity, Prisons Minister Damian Hinds has announced today.

  • former Secure Training Centre to become Category C men’s prison
  • refurbishment to create up to 130 new prison places
  • construction to create 100 jobs and boost local economy

The refurbishment of the Rainsbrook site will create up to 131 new prison places – helping to put serious offenders behind bars and provide a boost to the local economy with 100 new jobs.

The new jail will operate as an annexe of neighbouring HMP Onley, a Category C prison that helps offenders turn their backs on crime by giving them the skills through workshops and additional support to find work on release – an approach proven to cut crime and save the tax-payer money.

This is the latest step in the government’s commitment to boost prison capacity, which includes creating 20,000 modern prison places, the largest prison-building programme since the Victorian era – with 5,400 of these places already delivered.

The 20,000 places are being delivered through the construction of six new prisons, alongside expansions and refurbishments at existing jails and the delivery of 1,000 Rapid Deployment Cells.

HMP Fosse Way in Leicestershire, the second of these new state-of-the-art prisons, opened its doors last month.

Prisons Minister Damian Hinds said:

Redeveloping Rainsbrook is the latest step in our plans to create more prison places as we continue to take serious criminals off the streets.

Alongside vital taxpayer savings and creating more jobs for the local economy, we are making sure that every acre of the prison estate is being used effectively to rehabilitate offenders and help them turn their backs on crime for good.

Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre was previously a secure unit for children aged between 12 and 17 and closed in 2021. The redevelopment of the former Rainsbrook site is due to be completed by early 2025.

Notes to editors

  • HMP Five Wells opened last year with a capacity of c.1,700 prisoners. HMP Fosse Way will also hold around 1,700 prisoners when full
  • HMP Millsike – the new prison adjacent to HMP Full Sutton – will open in 2025 and will be our first all-electric prison with a capacity of nearly 1,500
  • To quickly create additional capacity across the system, we have begun the installation of 1,000 Rapid Deployment Cells across the prison estate – the majority of which will be delivered this year
  • We are also undertaking major refurbishments at HMP Birmingham, HMP Liverpool and HMP Norwich, delivering approximately 800 places between them. Construction has started on new house blocks at HMP Stocken, HMP Rye Hill, HMP Sudbury and HMP Hatfield, which will add approximately 850 places
  • Since September 2022, the government has boosted prison capacity by an additional 2,300 places. This has been achieved through measures including greater use of double occupancy of cells where it is safe to do so and delaying non-urgent maintenance work
Published 2 August 2023