Revamp To Make Perth Prison ‘Fit For 21st Century’

A revamp of Perth Prison should make it “fit for the 21st century” – according to its governor, Kate Donegan.

The Victorian-era building in Edinburgh Road has dominated Perth’s skyline for years, but a £70million upgrade will “transform” the ageing jail.

Work has already involved the demolition of the notorious C Hall, where prisoners still had to slop out.

Other older buildings and the prison’s health centre have also gone.

The new £35million C Hall should begin taking prisoners in September and it is expected to be up to full capacity by December.

Mrs Donegan, 54, believes this will herald a new era for the prison. She said: “The redevelopment will totally transform Perth Prison. We are trying to encourage people to get a more innovative name for the new building, which will have a capacity for 356 prisoners.”

The new block will be built on four levels and will have “fit-for-purpose” facilities.

Mrs Donegan added: “There will be a mixture of single and double cells, each with a toilet and wash basins. They will be purpose-built and ensure that the establishment is transformed.

“The old buildings are being significantly upgraded and the new block will be fit for the 21st century.

“We had to retain the facade of C Hall to comply with Historic Scotland and the old prison gates will be kept. E Hall and the health centre have gone, and the perimeter of the prison will be realigned.

“When phase three is completed in 2009, Perth Prison will be totally changed. Parts of this prison date back to the Napoleonic era – it really is that old, so it’s been a huge job.”

In addition to the prisoner block, there will be a new ancillary block, including a gym and a health centre.