HC Deb 20 May 2002 vol 386 cc57-8W
Mr. Andrew Turner

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the(a) condition and (b) use of the premises of the former HMP Maze is. [56125]

Jane Kennedy

The information is as follows:

(a) Since its closure in 2000, parts of Maze prison, comprising three accommodation blocks and a number of ancillary premises, have been maintained in warm storage and are in very good condition.

A small number of other buildings are still in use on the site, but these are mainly portable type accommodation and, while in good repair, are nearing the end of their lifespan. The condition of the remaining buildings on the site, including those on the adjacent Maze compound site, range from fair to derelict.

The mechanical and electrical services are in fair condition but have reached the stage where a substantial capital investment would be required to upgrade these to meet current regulations.

(b) The section of the Maze which is being maintained in warm storage will serve as emergency accommodation should the need arise. Other premises on the site are being used for control and restraint training and to accommodate the Prison Escort Group and its vehicle fleet. The firing range is also used occasionally for training.

However, the Government have recently given a commitment to hand the site to the Northern Ireland Executive. The timescale has yet to be agreed but the Northern Ireland prison service is actively looking for alternative ways to accommodate the functions listed above.

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