Work on the 1,680-place category C resettlement prison is scheduled to begin next month and to be completed by autumn 2021.
It will be built on the same site as the former HMP Wellingborough, which closed in 2012.
Ministers said that a price of £253m (excluding VAT) had now been agreed with Kier for the design and construction of the new prison.
The new prison is part of the government’s Prison Estate Transformation Programme, which also includes a new prison at the former Glen Parva prison & Young Offender Institution (YOI) in Leicestershire and a new house block at HMP Stocken, in Rutland.
Prisons minister Rory Stewart said: “I am committed to the building of up to 10,000 modern and decent prison places to replace old, expensive and unsuitable accommodation, and the start of work at Wellingborough is an important step forward. Providing offenders with decent conditions and regimes is absolutely key to turning their lives around and ultimately keeping the public safe.”
Mark Pengelly, executive director of Kier Major Projects, said: “We’re very proud to have been appointed to deliver the new resettlement prison at Wellingborough and look forward to working closely with the MoJ and using our experience in new-build prison programmes to deliver first-class rehabilitation facilities.”