Page last updated at 13:44 GMT, Friday, 24 April 2009 14:44 UK

Prison plans outlined to public

former Ferodo site
The Ferodo site is just outside the town of Caernarfon

A public meeting has been held to discuss plans for a prison on the outskirts of Caernarfon in Gwynedd.

Caernarfon MP Hywel Williams described the meeting at Theatr Seilo as an opportunity for people to raise any concerns they had about the plan.

Mr Williams said people "rightly" had questions about the plan.

It is estimated that a new prison on the site of a former brake factory will create 1,000 permanent jobs and be worth £17m a year to the local economy.

"People rightly have questions and concerns about the plan," said Mr Williams.

Final decision

"It is a very big development, and a planning application will not be made for some months yet, but people want some answers now," he added.

Mr Williams said he was happy to share all the information he currently had, although ultimately neither he nor the council would be responsible for the development.

It was important however that the area was in a position to capitalise if and when the final decision was made, he added.

This included making sure that local companies were in a position to bid for work on either constructing or running parts of the site, and also that training paths were in place.

He said he was confident that this scheme would fit into the location of the former Ferodo site.

"When every where else will see a reduction in job opportunities there will be opportunities here," he said.

"Also more generally, because of the new court, it could be part of the development of Caernarfon as a 'legal centre'.

"This could mean solicitors in the town could employ more people, and even barristers could open chambers in the town. It could create more than just construction jobs," he added.

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