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Giant barge that will house 500 migrants docks in Falmouth for refit


A giant barge that will house 500 migrants has docked this week in Cornwall - with ministers promising more vessels in the future.

The Bibby Stockholm has arrived in Falmouth for renovations ahead of going into service next month.

It was towed from Italy and will now undergo safety checks as well as being refitted to increase the onboard capacity as it currently only has space for 200 people.

The vessel will be moved into position off Dorset in the middle of June, and used for single adult male asylum seekers.

The Home Office said it was in discussion with other ports and further barges would be announced 'in due course'.

The Bibby Stockholm barge will provide 'basic and functional accommodation' as well as healthcare and catering facilities when it is berthed at Portland in Dorset, according to the Home Office.

The barge includes a gym, games room and bar. It also has 'delicious, nutritious food' in its restaurant and Wi-Fi throughout the ship.

So far this year, 6,549 small boat migrants have reached the UK, 15 per cent down on the 7,752 who had arrived by the same point last year.

It is too early to say whether the Government's new 'tough' policies have begun deterring migrants or whether the decline in numbers is simply down to the weather.