Meet the Finalists

2022 | Public & Leisure

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Jessica Spain MCIOB

HMP Five Wells, Wellingborough: construction of 1,680-place prison, completed in 129 weeks. 

Client: Ministry of Justice 

Contract: PPC 2000 

Value: £284m 

About the Project

HMP Five Wells, Wellingborough

Jessica Spain’s delivery of this prison was on budget, on programme and on point. So much so that Mace has subsequently been appointed delivery partner for the client’s entire expansion programme, encompassing 20,000 prison places.  

Her leadership and coordination of the team were instrumental in adopting digital design and off-site manufacture on the project. Some 15,000 precast panels containing 2,400 windows, 20,000 conduits and 2,000 underfloor heating mats were installed. Ultimately, the design achieved 80% standardisation – a key requirement for the sustainability of the client’s expansion programme.  

The ease of on-site assembly of manufactured components allowed the prison to be built 22% faster than through a traditional approach. It also delivered financial gains by cutting the on-site labour requirement by a third.  

Realising that the assumption that this category C prison should be built on the lines of a category B institution was mistaken, Jessica drove transformation. She was instrumental in the roll-out of such innovations as barless windows (ultra-secure sealed windows with toughened glass and narrow vents), prototyping them within existing prison facilities. Yet she was equally clear that some of the projected innovations for the scheme did not offer value for money – and advised the client accordingly. 

On this immense project, Jessica managed the myriad stakeholders with skill and passion to create a practical blueprint for a modern prison estate.

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