Wates and Capita Architecture are in pole position to design the government’s proposed super-sized prisons.

It has emerged that the two firms have produced conceptual designs for the government and are waiting to hear if these will be taken further.

The two said the government had given them four weeks to deliver designs for the “Titan” jails, each of which will hold 2,500 inmates.

Plans to build three such prisons by 2014 were announced last week in response to Lord Carter’s review of the penal system.

Wates said the review team had asked it to provide conceptual designs and early feasibility studies for the large-scale prisons. These include biometric scanning and electronic door operation.

Although no formal decision has been announced, Carter said these are likely to be PFI projects. A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said there would definitely be a role for the private sector.

James Wates, Wates’ deputy chairman, said: “Titan buildings will be high-quality operational structures that deliver long-term solutions.”