A prison in Worcestershire is to close down within months under a multi-million pound savings plan by the Ministry of Justice.
Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke has announced that HMP Brockhill, a male category C prison in Redditch, will be shut in September along with HMP Latchmere House, in London.
The move will reduce 377 inmate spaces across the two sites and save £4.9million this year and on-going annual savings of £11.4million.
Mr Clarke also revealed that the Worcestershire prison, HMP Hewell, which is an amalgamation of Brockhill, Blakenhurst, and Hewell Grange prisons, based in Hewell Lane, Redditch, would not be privatised in the latest changes.
HMP Brockhill covers about an eighth of the Hewell site with 170 cells of the 1,431 available for West Midlands prisoners.
The Government said it was part of an overall programme which includes a further 2,500 new prison places becoming available over the next 12 months.
Staff are expected to be absorbed into other prisons to avoid compulsory redundancies.
Eight other prisons across the UK will be privatised. These are HMPs Lindholme, Moorland, Hatfield and The Wolds, all in Yorkshire, Acklington and Castington, in Northumberland, Durham, in County Durham, Onley, Northamptonshire and Coldingley, in Surrey.
The Ministry of Justice must save 25 per cent of its budget under the Government’s cuts to public spending.
It follows controversy in March when a private contract was awarded to G4S to run HMP Birmingham along with new prison, Featherstone 2 in the West Midlands from October.
Prison officers threatened to strike after the unpopular decision, which will save more than £21million on the Birmingham contract and £31million for Featherstone.
The Prison Officers’ Association has described privatising prisons as “disgraceful” and “morally repulsive”.
Members also claimed it will send the prison service into “meltdown”.
Mr Clarke said: “The public has a right to expect continuing improvement in the quality and efficiency of public services, without compromising public safety.
"The competition strategy and adjustments to the prison estate will help ensure that this is the case.”
The private contract for HMP Birmingham will mean the prison will be run by a female manager for the first time in its history.
Sue Saunders has been named the new director of HMP Birmingham when the prison transfers from the public sector to the operational control of G4S.