A BRADFORD-based travel management company is behind a £6.7 million deal to house over 1,500 Ukrainian refugees in a rented cruise ship.

Corporate Travel Management (North), formerly Redfern Travel, has chartered the 739-room MS Victoria ship to the Scottish Government.

Docked at Leith in Edinburgh, the ship will initially house between 1,600 and 1,700 refugees who fled war-torn Ukraine.

It comes after the country was forced to suspend its super-sponsor scheme – where the public could host families – due to a lack of suitable housing.

Shona Robison, cabinet secretary for social justice, housing and local government, said the “safety and welfare of displaced people from Ukraine, who are primarily women and children who may have experienced much stress and trauma, is of paramount importance”.

She added: “We want to make them as comfortable as possible during their stay and we have worked with partners to provide a variety of services in addition to the support services available.

“These will include restaurants, child play facilities with toys and books, laundry, cleaning, Wi-Fi access and communal spaces.”

The ship has been chartered until January.

The Government added there would be a “security perimeter around the ship with proportionate security and identification checks.”

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