SUPPORT is flooding in for Wrexham’s proposed ‘super-prison’.
Calls have been stepped up for the hundreds of jobs to go to people from the local area when the new £250 million is built and opened on Wrexham Industrial Estate.
It was announced on Wednesday the new 2,000 inmate prison – which would be the biggest in Britain – will be built on the former Firestone site.
The massive development has attracted some opposition, particularly from community leaders and residents in Pentre Maelor, who live near the site.
But in Wrexham itself yesterday there was a high level of backing for the plans.
Businesswoman and Wrexham town centre forum member Kim Sheridan, of Just Tea and Coffee on High Street, said there is potential for the town to benefit from the prison.
She said: “I think it’s a good thing, it will help secure jobs in the area.
“It will be a secure facility and I believe it will be good in terms of jobs and people coming into Wrexham and spending money.
“I would hope that people will be trained and recruited from Wrexham.
“It makes sense that the people of Wrexham should get jobs.”
When the announcement was made, Wrexham Council leader Cllr Neil Rogers said between 600 and 700 jobs would be kept for local people.
Andrew Price, 30, who works in Wrexham, said: “I believe it is a good thing for the community.
“It will be bringing jobs in to the area.
“I hope the jobs will go to local people.”
Graham Blackmore, 69, of Rhostyllen, is also backing the prison.
He said: “The jobs being created are good news, not just when it’s opened but also when it’s being built.
“I hope they keep the jobs local and also listen to the concerns of residents who live just across the road from where the prison will be.”
Glenys Jones, 59, of Caia Park, said: “I am in supportive of it although I don’t think I would be if I lived nearby.”
Dirk Vermakk, 81, of Gwersyllt, said: “I have said for the past 20 years that we need a prison here.
“It means the people who are sent to prison from Wrexham can go there rather being taken a lot further away.
But not everyone backed the plans.
Speaking on the Leaderlive website ‘Kiros’ challenged First Minister Carwyn Jones’ assertion that a North Wales jail would make it easier for criminals and their families in the region.
‘Kiros’ said: “Oh yes, let’s make it easy for local criminals.
“Get all their mates and families to visit them right on their doorstep. Prison is supposed to be about punishment.”
TimRegency added a different note of caution. He posted: “Prison is supposed to be about justice. When it becomes about something other than justice, like jobs and the economy, then our motivation is not pure and can no longer be trusted.”