Take a look at Wrexham's £212m super prison now as opening date draws near

Residents living next to the former Firestone factory site on Wrexham’s Industrial Estate have praised the building work

18th October 2016

Residents living next to the former Firestone factory site on Wrexham's Industrial Estate have praised the building work.

Neighbours living next to the Wrexham prison site have praised the building work as the complex nears completion.

The former Firestone Factory site on Wrexham's Industrial Estate has been transformed over the last year after construction on the £212m HMP Berwyn got underway.

The vast majority of the buildings now have the outer cladding complete as the building project heads into the final straight.

Opinions were divided among locals nearby when Wrexham got the nod from the UK Government to build the prison complex.

Some feared it would be an eyesore and were concerned whether it would be safe. Others welcomed the derelict site being developed and the jobs it would bring to the area.

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But neighbours on the nearby Pentre Maelor Estate, which the prison overlooks, have said they are pleased with the way the construction has gone so far as the scheduled opening date for February next year approaches.

Emily Smith said: "There has been no noise and its gone up without any bother, while it's being built.

"To be honest I am not bothered about it at all. I think it will be a good thing."

Alison Jackson added: "I am not bothered about it. There have been no problems while it was being put up."

And Alison Rowlands said: "I don't think it looks that bad and certainly doesn't look that daunting.

"My only concerns are, at the moment, the children look out the window and they know the people that are about, there are going to be a lot more strangers.

"And I've also read it's going to be very comfortable in there for prisoners. I think there should be punishment and rehabilitation. It should be a place they do not want to go back to."

The prison's governor Russ Trent, has told how he wishes to run the largest prison in the UK, as a place to rehabilitate offenders.

"I realise as a victim of a crime we want the offender to be punished but as a society we want them to be rehabilitated too," he said.

In April, at the peak of construction, 550 employees were on site – including painters, decorators, joiners, flooring workers and mechanical and electrical engineers.

The prison will have capacity for about 2,100 inmates.

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