Preparations under way as vessel arrives to host displaced people.
The second cruise ship chartered to offer displaced people safe accommodation has arrived in Glasgow.
The M/S Ambition has been chartered for six months and will be located at King George V docks on the River Clyde. The ship has capacity to host up to 1,750 people in 714 cabins, and, as with the arrangements for the M/S Victoria I at Leith, families will be accommodated according to their needs.
People on board the vessel will have access to restaurants, child play facilities, shops, cleaning and communal spaces. They will be free to come and go from the ship, as with any other temporary accommodation.
Partners will now work to put in place measures around safeguarding, health and safety, public protection and waste management to ensure that the ship is ready to welcome people. This will also include work to provide guests on board with access to appropriate support services, including healthcare and benefits support.
Minister with Special Responsibility for Refugees from Ukraine Neil Gray said:
“The Scottish Government is providing accommodation that is safe and sustainable while people are waiting to be matched to suitable longer term accommodation. The arrival of the M/S Ambition in Glasgow is a key part of that provision which means we are providing sanctuary to more displaced people per head of population than any other part of the UK.
“We are working closely with the council and other local partners to finalise plans for how the ship will be used, with safeguarding of the people on board being the absolute priority.
“Now that the M/S Ambition has arrived, this work will begin at pace and people will move on board once the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council are satisfied that the necessary preparations, including health and safety checks, have been satisfied.
“We do not want people spending more time in temporary accommodation, such as the cruise ships, for any longer than is absolutely necessary. We continue to take significant action to increase our temporary accommodation capacity as well as boosting our matching system to maximise the number of people who can be placed with volunteer hosts who have completed the necessary safeguarding checks.”
Passengers will join and leave the ship via shuttle bus services which will run 24 hours a day.
Corporate Travel Management (North) Ltd (CTM) has been awarded a contract with a value of up to £100 million to source and provide travel-related services for displaced people from Ukraine which includes accommodation in hotels and on the M/S Victoria I and M/S Ambition.
The M/S Ambition has arrived fully crewed. The Scottish Government has worked at pace with the UK Border Force and with the contractor CTM to ensure that people can move on as soon as it is safe to do so.
The latest published data on the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme, including the Scottish Government’s super sponsor scheme, shows that on 30 August there were:
- 15,757 total arrivals with a sponsor located in Scotland (18% of all UK arrivals), of which 12,390 have come under the super sponsor scheme
- 35,931 applications under the super sponsor scheme
- 29,992 visas issued under the super sponsor scheme
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