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Home Office plans for accommodation for about 8,000 asylum seekers


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Contractors are being sought to build and run accommodation centres for about 8,000 asylum seekers.

They would be housed there for up to six months while their applications are dealt with.

Asylum seekers are regularly taken from their dinghies to Dover by the Border Force Library picture Sam Lennon KMGroup
Asylum seekers are regularly taken from their dinghies to Dover by the Border Force Library picture Sam Lennon KMGroup

The notice, published online by the Home Office on Wednesday, is part of the Government's New Plan for Immigration.

It says: "The Home Office plans to contract for the provision of design, build or renovation and operation of National Accommodation Centres.

"The New Plan for Immigration includes proposals to introduce new asylum accommodation centres to provide accommodation and support while processing the claims of asylum seekers."

"The Home Office seeks a commercial partner(s) that can support it to deliver the following service outcomes (for example): support service users to effectively process their asylum claim: deliver accommodation for up to (circa) 8,000 service users, ensure service users are able to be accommodated for periods up to six months."

It says the project could be done by both creating new buildings and renovating existing ones.

The Stade Court Hotel, Hythe, has been used for asylum seekers. Photo from KM reporter
The Stade Court Hotel, Hythe, has been used for asylum seekers. Photo from KM reporter

The running of these centres may require services for catering, security and guarding. education and training, health, religion, recreation, culture and sport.

The notice does not specify how many centres there would be or where exactly they would be in the UK.

A Home Office spokesman explained further: " To help speed up processing of claims and the removal of people who do not have a legitimate need to claim asylum in the UK, we plan to introduce new asylum reception centres to provide basic accommodation and process claims.

"We will also maintain the facility to detain people where removal is possible within a reasonable timescale. The use of hotels to accommodate new arrivals who have entered the UK illegally will end."

Last month it was revealed that a number of asylum seekers were being moved out of the controversial Napier Barracks in Folkestone to hotels to allow more social distancing during the pandemic.

Use of the former army barracks has aroused criticism because of the living conditions there.

One Kent hotel known to be used for asylum seekers is the Stade Court in Hythe.

The Home Office says this new type of accommodation planned for for this purpose is already used in places such as Denmark and Switzerland.

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