Artist’s impressions of the £85 million “fortified school” in Glen Parva have been revealed – along with the news that its construction will create jobs.
The secure college will house offenders aged between 12 and 17 years old and focus on education and rehabilitation, said the Ministry of Justice.
Set to open in 2017, the complex will house 320 teenage offenders, and will be the first institute of its kind in the UK – with construction work set to start in 2015.
The new images show the enclosed site, which features 10 secure buildings specifically designed for education and living. There is also a full-size football pitch and basketball court.
The complex will be built next door to the Glen Parva Young Offenders Institute, in Tigers Road. Justice secretary Chris Grayling said the construction would boost the local economy, as 75 per cent of the work is earmarked for companies within 50 miles of the site.
He said: “I’m delighted local people will benefit from this pioneering and exciting new approach to tackling the reoffending rates of young people. There is no doubt that this facility will be a massive boost to the local economy.
“This contract will lead to significant levels of work for businesses and young people – a key part of this Government’s long-term plan to build a stronger, more competitive economy.
“It’s right that young offenders should face appropriate punishment, including custody for the most serious or persistent offences. But the new secure college will be a step change from the traditional environment of bars on windows.
“It will help in our fight to tackle the root cause of offending and give young offenders the skills and self-discipline they need to gain employment or training upon release.”
The project has been welcomed by leader of Leicestershire County Council, Nick Rushton. He said using local firms will be a great benefit for the Leicestershire economy.
He said: “Aside from this being slightly contentious, I welcome anything that brings in so much business to the area. “There’s a lot of jobs going to be created along with this.”
Mr Rushton also backed the flagship establishment – saying it would give young people a positive experience and take them off the criminal career path.
“I think it’s a good idea. If we can catch them young and change their outlook then that’s a positive thing,” he said. “If they start offending at 12, they’ve probably got about 60 years more offending ahead of them.”