A massive barge which will be used to house refugees will be arriving in Falmouth in the next few days for inspection - but it will not be housing asylum seekers.

Instead, in preparation for its move to its berth in Portland Port in June, a Home Office spokesperson said the barge Bibby Stockholm would be inspected for any "necessary refurbishment and general maintenance".

It is understood the barge will be arriving in Falmouth in the coming days.

It will not be used to house asylum seekers whilst in Falmouth.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The number of people arriving in the UK who require accommodation has reached record levels and has put our asylum system under incredible strain. 

“We have been clear that the use of hotels to house asylum seekers is unacceptable – there are currently more than 51,000 asylum seekers in hotels costing the UK taxpayer £6 million a day.   

“We have to use alternative accommodation options, as our European neighbours are doing – including the use of barges and ferries to save the British taxpayer money.”

The Bibby Stockholm will be in Falmouth where it will go through a statutory inspection along with any necessary refurbishment and general maintenance ahead of its berthing in Portland in the coming weeks. 

The Home Office says it has engaged with the local community in Falmouth and will continue to whilst the vessel is in the area.


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The Home Office says it is committed to making every effort to reduce hotel use and limit the burden on the taxpayer.

It says the current asylum system is under extreme pressure and costing the country £3 billion a year and rising, including around £6 million a day on hotel accommodation.  

The 51,000 figure includes all asylum seekers in temporary accommodation, including hotels as well as initial accommodation. 

"We continue to ensure the accommodation provided is safe, secure, leaves no one destitute and is appropriate for an individual’s needs," they said.