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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 November 2006, 08:35 GMT
Yarl's Wood firm to lose contract
Yarl's Wood detention centre
New managers to take over immigrant detention centre
Staff at Yarl's Wood Immigration Centre in Bedfordshire have been told the firm in charge has lost its contract.

International support services company GSL has been told by the Home Office a new organisation will take over from April next year, the BBC has learned.

The Bedfordshire centre houses asylum seekers and people who have failed to pass the British immigration system.

A GSL spokesman said the company was "disappointed" at losing the contract. The Home Office declined to comment.

The centre was opened in November 2001 but three months later the building was damaged by fire following a riot, and several detainees escaped.

The undamaged half of the building re-opened in September 2003.

Rebidding for the tender to run the centre began earlier this year.

A spokesman for GSL told the BBC the company was "shocked and disappointed" that they had not retained the contract.

The Home Office said it was "inappropriate" to comment on what they called "ongoing contractual negotiations".

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