Putting up single security fencing around prison facilities could be a way to make significant financial savings.

This week, the potential savings that could be realised if a single perimeter fence is erected around two prisons in Northumberland were revealed.

According to the Northumberland Gazette, Sir Alan Beith, Liberal Democrat MP for Berwick Upon Tweed, asked in the House of Commons what the estimated costs and possible savings would be if security fencing was put up as part of the merger of HMP Acklington and HMP Castington.

Responding to the query in writing, justice minister Crispin Blunt was quoted by the newspaper as saying: "The capital costs of building a single perimeter fence and gate block as part of the merger of Acklington and Castington prisons are estimated to be £5.6million."

"This investment is part of a wider long-term savings strategy," Mr Blunt added. He said it is estimated that the merger of the prisons will save more than £5 million over a 32-month period.

"There is an additional one-off saving of £1.44 million by avoiding major maintenance projects on facilities that will become shared i.e. kitchen and reception areas," the justice minister also said.

Both facilities are Category C prisons for convicted adult male prisoners. ADNFCR-3337-ID-800487996-ADNFCR