A TEESSIDE prison has been praised for its contribution to improving the environment.

Holme House Prison, in Stockton, recently won the award for best environmental contribution in Stockton Borough Council’s care for your area initiative.

Governor Matt Spencer said they are determined to make it the greenest prison in the country.

He said: "We decided to look at every aspect of how the prison impacts on the environment - after all we are very big operation, effectively a self-contained community for over 900 prisoners and 800 staff.

"We began our review by looking at energy management, waste reduction and potential pollution issues and since then we have achieved a whole range of positive results, including becoming the first prison in the North-East to greatly improve performance against the national prison service target for CO2 reduction.

"We organised training for staff in waste reduction, as well as holding a roadshow for staff and prisoners to promote environmental awareness, followed by a green exhibition open to other prisons, community groups and local businesses and we’re investing in a new biomass boiler to produce heat from wood waste generated from our workshop."

"In addition, prisoners are able to gain qualifications in waste management which can help them gain employment when they are released.

"We’re delighted with the results we’ve achieved so far and the very positive response we’ve received from our staff, so much that we’re now encouraging them to take the green message into their own homes and local communities."