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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 January 2007, 09:03 GMT
New company to run asylum centre
Yarl's Wood detention centre
Serco have been given an eight-year contract to run the centre
A new company is to take over the running of the UK's largest immigration removal centre.

Serco Group Plc has taken over the contract from GSL to manage Yarl's Wood immigration centre, near Bedford, on behalf of the Home Office.

The 85m contract will start in April and run for up to eight years.

A 2006 report by the chief inspector of prisons highlighted a number of failures in healthcare provided at the asylum centre.

Christopher Hyman, chief executive of Serco, said: "The win is testament to the high quality of service we already provide at Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre and recognises our ability to care for a wide range of detainees. "

Damaged by fire

The centre was built to house 405 detainees, including failed asylum seekers and their families.

It opened in November 2001 but was damaged three months later 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.

Yarl's Wood firm to lose contract
23 Nov 06 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
Yarl's Wood 'failing' detainees
03 Oct 06 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
Yarl's Wood women 'hunger strike'
27 Jul 05 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
Centre 'damaging' child detainees
27 Jul 05 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
Yarl's Wood 'lessons not learnt'
13 Feb 05 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
Yarl's Wood future under review
08 Feb 05 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts

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