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Dungavel To Close
The controversial Dungavel immigration detention centre is to be closed, the Home Office has announced.
Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill confirmed that the centre, near Strathaven, will shut towards the end of 2017.
A series of protests have been held in recent years outside Dungavel by campaigners who branded the facility "racist and inhumane", with claims that detainees are held in prison like conditions.
Goodwill said the Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) in Lanarkshire would close subject to a successful planning application to build a new short-term holding facility (STHF) close to Glasgow Airport.
Goodwill said: “We keep our detention estate under constant review to ensure we have the right resources in the right places.
“The new short-term holding facility would provide easy access to London airports, from where most removals take place, meaning those with no right to be in the UK can be removed with less delay.
“Closing Dungavel immigration removal centre as a consequence fits with that approach and will result in a significant saving for the public purse.”
The Home Office said the proposed new STHF, in Glasgow, would have 51 beds and would be used to accommodate people detained during immigration enforcement operations.
Ministers said the vast majority of stays being for considerably less than seven days.
The UK Government also said Dungavel IRC is expected to close within a few months of the new holding centre opening.
However, the Dungavel site will continue to operate as usual in the meantime.