THE ‘new Barlinnie’ super prison is likely to be built in an old gang hotspot close to the Provan gas works, the Scottish Prison Service has revealed.

The site near the Provan gas works in north east Glasgow is the only place currently being considered for the replacement Barlinnie prison, which will be called HMP Glasgow.

HMP Glasgow is expected to cost £100 million, and will be double the size of Barlinnie, relieving the prison of its overcrowding problem.

Figures released last month showed that Barlinnie was running at 130 per cent of its capacity.

Last month, four Barlinnie guards were beaten up after they were left to watch over 93 prisoners.

When drugs were thrown over the wall and the guards intervened, they were set upon by the inmates.

Consultants Colliers International narrowed down the possible sites for a new Barlinnie from around 40 options in the West of Scotland.

A Scottish Prison Service spokesman said: “Since instructions were issued to our property/land consultants Colliers International in May 2014, five reports have been produced covering sites within the city of Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire local authority areas.

“A site at Provanmill, owned by National Grid Partnerships, is the only site being considered for the replacement of HMP Barlinnie.”

The Provanmill site has since become iconic for its striking gas towers visible from the M8 motorway.

The site is also close to where notorious gangsters Arthur Thompson and Paul Ferris operated in the 20th century.

On the other side of the M8, the Provan gas works borders the infamous Royston Road, where Arthur Thompson’s son was shot and killed in 1991.

Nine years later, his son Billy was stabbed in the same area.

Former residents of Barlinnie include Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, who was responsible for the Lockerbie bombings, footballer Duncan Ferguson, and Dragon’s Den’s Duncan Bannatyne.

Two prisoners were hanged at Barlinnie, before the death penalty w as outlawed in the UK.

The gallows cell was not removed from the prison until 1997.

It is not known how much the site will cost the Government to acquire, although it is thought that the possibility of other commercial uses for the site could drive up the price.

Conversion of the site was thought to be prevented by the iconic gasometers being granted listed status last year.

They were constructed in 1903 and Historic Environment Scotland decided that they represented an “industrial process that is now largely redundant”.

Scottish Gas Networks challenged the decision on the grounds that it could stop development of the gas works for other purposes.

The challenge was unsuccessful, but the row has not prevented the prison service from earmarking the site for HMP Glasgow. 

A Scottish Prison Service spokesman yesterday stressed to the Evening Times that Barlinnie’s replacement would not become a priority until after the construction of two community custody units in Dundee and Maryhill, and a national facility for women on the site of HMP Cornton Vale.

The construction of HMP Glasgow at Provanmill would then only go ahead once the site had been purchased by the SPS and planning permission had been acquired.