Minister quizzed on Magilligan money
QUESTIONS have been asked of the Justice Minister over his allocation of money originally ring-fenced for the upgrade of Magilligan Prison.
East Londonderry MLA David McClarty wrote to the Justice Minister to ask if £140 million Mr McClarty believed had been set aside for upgrading facilities at Magilligan would be used instead to fund the proposed 240 cell block at Maghaberry.
The Justice Minister, Alliance Party MLA David Ford replied to say that the estimated cost of upgrading HMP Magilligan was in fact £180 million, and that the majority of this money was not included in the current budget period.
Mr Ford said that for the current budget period, which runs until 2015, just £54 million had been set aside for the development of prisons. Of that total, almost half was set aside for a £240 million block at Maghaberry.
His written response to East Londonderry MLA David McClarty read: “The Northern Ireland Prison Service (NIPS) has produced an Outline Estate Strategy that is currently subject to a sixteen week period of public consultation.
“Prior to the development of the Outline Estate Strategy, NIPS had considered the re-development
of the Magilligan site at an estimated cost of £180m (rather than the £140m quoted in the above
“That figure was the total estimated funding requirement for the project, the majority of which was required beyond the current budget period (Budget 2011-15) and not, therefore, included in NIPS’ capital budget allocation.
“As part of the Budget 2011-15 period, NIPS was allocated a total of £54m for the redevelopment of the prison estate. One of the proposals contained in the Outline Estate Strategy is the development of a 240 block project at Maghaberry.
“The Strategy proposes that £23.75m is spent on the 240 block during the Budget 2011-15 period, although some further capital funding would be required to complete the project in the next Spending Review period.
“Final capital plans are currently subject to review pending the outcome of the Outline Estate Strategy public consultation, including a final decision on the future of the Magilligan site.”
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