Score Group plc announced their acquisition of the site of the former Peterhead Prison from the Scottish Prison Service yesterday (Monday).
The company plans to use the site to grow its training operations in Peterhead and as a secure storage facility expansion, which it envisages will create 30-50 jobs over the next three years and turn the site into a 21st century centre of training and people development.
Score Group companies in Peterhead currently employ over 300 16 to 24-year-olds within apprenticeship and training schemes covering a wide range of disciplines from mechanical engineering to administration.
The acquisition of the prison site will give the company the opportunity to provide extensive dedicated training facilities, giving those currently training and future recruits an enhanced training experience.
Last year the company was a vocal opponent to the merger of Banff and Buchan College with its Aberdeen counterpart, raising concerns that the quality of education provided would deteriorate.
Speaking on behalf of Score, Conrad Ritchie said: “We are undertaking this project on our own and have purchased the site with no support from any government funding bodies.
“Our offer will have represented the best value for SPS and we are going to make sure it means best value for the town by creating jobs and training young people.
“It is important that the youth in this area know there are opportunities for them to undertake apprenticeships and acquire qualifications with our company.
“The college merger and the subsequent major cuts in funding made by the SNP government have introduced an unwelcome uncertainty for employers and young people alike.
“With room for expansion of our training facilities we are optimistic that we can introduce something positive to stop the slide.
“We can’t only think about this area however, we are a global company with apprenticeship schemes in Norway, Denmark, Australia, USA, Trinidad, Canada and Ireland which will all benefit from this.
“We want to create our own global centre of excellence here in the United Kingdom.”