Contractor expected to start on site next month and finish the category B prison in 2012

Skanska has reached financial close on a £100m contract to build a new prison at Belmarsh West in London.

The firm was awarded the contract by a Barclays investment vehicle called BWP Project Services, which in turn won the new prison contract from the Ministry of Justice.

The Category B prison will feature 600 cells, as well as a hospital, kitchens and other associated buildings.

Construction is due to start next month and be completed during the first half of 2012.

Paul Chandler, Executive Vice President of Skanska UK said: “This award reinforces Skanska’s commitment to the custodial sector where we have been successfully operating for over 15 years.

“I am also pleased that we will be once again working with Serco with whom we have developed a strong working relationship through the successful delivery of similar schemes”.

Skanska is now waiting for word of the Maghull prison on Merseyside, another deal for which it is the preferred bidder.

Meanwhile contractors are still waiting for confirmation on whether any of the five planned 1,500-capacity prisons, which replaced the Titan project, will go ahead.