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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 January 2008, 13:32 GMT
Prisons merge to create new jail
Blackenhurst Prison
Blackenhurst will merge with two other prisons
Three West Midlands prisons will merge to form one of Britain's biggest jails, the Prison Service has announced.

Blakenhurst, Brockhill and Hewell Grange will remain at their existing sites but be brought under a single management team to form HMP Redditch.

It will be ready by April and will hold up to 1,428 inmates - only about 50 less than the biggest, Wandsworth.

The government has already announced plans to build up to three "Titan" jails each holding 2,500 prisoners.

'Improve efficiency'

"Titan" prisons will be larger - matching the capacity of three jails grouped together - and they will house different units on one site.

The Prison Services says the merger will "improve the efficiency and effectiveness across the three prisons by merging functions."

Governor of HMP Redditch Alison Perry, said the new prison model would cut the duplication in both operations and administration.

Prison Service Deputy director general, Michael Spurr, added it was "the way forward for the Service to deliver results in an increasingly tight financial climate".

It has been named HMP Redditch after the nearby town which is in Home Secretary Jacqui Smith's constituency.

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