Building firms to benefit from £85m Glen Parva young offenders’ college

Leicestershire firms are set to benefit from the building of an £85 million college.

The Ministry of Justice is set to construct the college next to Glen Parva young offender institution.

Surrey-based Wates Construction, which is leading the project, wants more than two-thirds of the work on the scheme to be carried out by county companies.

It also aims to create 86 jobs and work experience placements during the construction of the secure college, which will accommodate up to 320 offenders aged 12 to 17.

Justice Minister Andrew Selous, Helen Hildebrand from the Ministry of Justice and Philip Harrison, of Wates Construction

Justice Minister Andrew Selous attended an event in the Hilton Leicester Hotel, near Braunstone, to showcase the project on Thursday.

“The development of the secure college will give a massive boost to the local economy in Leicestershire,” he said.

“Thousands of pounds will be spent with small businesses ranging from carpentry to brick-work to landscaping, providing valuable jobs and training for apprentices.

“This innovative approach will not only transform the landscape of youth custody, but will also give local businesses the opportunity to expand and be part of an important and exciting new project.”

The Ministry of Justice has made an application to Blaby District Council to build the college.

A planning application has been submitted to Blaby Council for the college, which will include sports facilities and blocks to provide education and training for young offenders.

Wates has pledged to offer a range of employment and training opportunities during construction, including its national Changing Paths programme, designed to help secure jobs for ex offenders and those that are long term unemployed.

Phil Harrison, managing director of Wates in the Midlands, said: “Procuring a local supply chain has a deep-seated effect on boosting and sustaining local employment and it is for this reason that all of our projects are delivered in collaboration with nearby suppliers and sub-contractors.

“We have an established supply chain in the East Midlands that we are now looking to expand upon and we welcome those interested.”

Construction could begin next year, if approved, and the college would open in 2017.

The college will be home to young offenders from the Midlands and the East of England, though offenders from other areas could also be taken.