The Ministry of Justice has created a new facilities management company to take over prison services such as cleaning and building repair work that were previously handled by collapsed construction giant Carillion.

The ministry today announced that around 1,000 staff, including 100 contractors, who were previously employed by Carillion will move to the government-owned company, called Gov Facility Services Limited, with the same employment terms and conditions.

Justice secretary David Gauke said: 'We have robust contingency plans and are taking appropriate action to ensure that the prison FM services continue to operate normally. I want to reassure staff that their jobs are secure and essential to making prisons safer and more decent.'

Last week Richard Heaton, permanent secretary at the ministry, confirmed that Carillion provided facilities management services to half of the public prisons in England and Wales under a contract negotiated in 2014. Carillion provides facilities management services to a 'small number' of courts as part of a joint-venture private finance initiative. There is also a 'very small exposure' through a legal aid helpline where Carillion 'are a very small bit at present', Heaton told the Commons public accounts committee. (The ministry was unable to confirm to the Gazette which helpline Carillion has a contract for.)

The ministry said today that the new company has been created and will take over responsibility for the facilities management services once staff have formally been transferred.