AN expansion of Guy’s Marsh prison is expected to create between 75 and 100 jobs once the building work has been completed.

The new units will increase the capacity of the Dorset jail by 180 from its existing 446 prisoner places.

Work will centre around the demolition and replacement of the fire damaged Wessex cell block and other buildings.

The block was set on fire by a 30-year-old prisoner staging a roof top protest in 2017 causing £20million of damage. He was later sentenced to seven additional years for the offence.

The block had remained un-touched since 2017 and is shortly to be demolished the work expected to continue until March.

The Ministry of Justice say the cleared land will then be converted for use as a sports pitch as part of the prison’s expansion plans.

Also being removed prior to building work starting is the redundant sports pavilion, workshop and IT portacabins.

In addition to the new sports pitch the prison is to build two two storey cell blocks, one with 120 cells, the other with 60, a new workshop and office accommodation in addition to an extension to the existing cardiovascular building and a control and restraint block.

The new buildings are not expected to be fully occupied until 2023.

The prison site, which has been open for over 50 years, is in a remote location to the south west of Shaftesbury off the B3091.

Most of the surrounding buildings are farmsteads although there are a handful of private homes which were once accommodation for prison staff.

The application for the development attracted just three objections who were concerned about the likelihood of overlooking of their gardens, light pollution, noise from prisoners and the risk of flooding. Requests were also made to limit construction working hours and to consider where construction workers would park.

Photographs with the planning documents submitted to Dorset Council show the extent of the damage caused by the fire with personal possessions still littering the site.