Press Release - HMP & YOI Stirling

Exciting progress on plans for HMP & YOI Stirling


Development of a new and modern national facility for women in custody is set to reach an important landmark.

The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) is today announcing plans to close HMP & YOI Cornton Vale, early in the new year.

HMP & YOI Stirling, which is being built on the same site, is due to open in the summer of 2023.

It will be the third new, purpose-built facility for women in custody, following the opening of the Bella and Lilias Community Custody Units (CCUs), this year.

The CCUs are the first of their kind anywhere in the UK, and follow an approach set out in the bold and ground-breaking Strategy for Women in Custody.

The strategy is founded on the principle that services for women in custody should be designed especially for the needs of women, and also take account of their likely experience of adversity and trauma.

The new HMP & YOI Stirling will have this approach at its heart. It will also be smaller, more modern, and with better facilities, than HMP & YOI Cornton Vale, which was built in 1975.

It is an important milestone in the SPS’s success in continuing to meet the challenges set by Lady Elish Angiolini, in her Commission on Women Offenders report, which also paved the way for our CCUs.

The remaining women still living at HMP & YOI Cornton Vale will be supported to move out in January and February next year, and temporarily placed in other establishments, allowing work on the new facility to move apace.

This is standard practice when closing one prison and building another, and has been done successfully in the past. The SPS has also carried out detailed planning to minimise disruption, support the women in our care, and work to ensure all their needs continue to be met.

Teresa Medhurst, Chief Executive of the Scottish Prison Service, said: I am delighted that, with the support of the Scottish Government and the hard work of staff and partners, we have reached this exciting moment.

“This facility, along with our CCUs, will help give women in our care the best possible chance of a successful rehabilitation and safe, eventual, return to our communities.

“There is a lot of hard work ahead, but we are determined to deliver for those in our care, for the communities we serve, and for wider Scotland.”

Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Veterans, said: “The Scottish Government is committed to a modern and fit-for-purpose prison estate with a focus on rehabilitation.

“As such, we have been working with the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) to transform our approach to women in custody, as part of a wider £600 million plan to improve Scotland’s custodial estate.

“The new community custody units, which opened this year in Dundee and Glasgow represent a step change in how Scotland supports women in custody.

“I am pleased that SPS are now reaching this significant milestone.

The new national facility for women, HMP & YOI Stirling, is a purpose-built facility for women in custody, designed especially for the needs of women and it takes account of their likely experience of adversity and trauma.”