AN ASYLUM charity has welcomed the closure of Campsfield House Immigration Removal Centre.

The Kidlington facility is set to shut in May 2019, when the current contract period expires.

Oxfordshire's Asylum Welcome said the closure was 'an important step towards a fairer asylum and immigration system in the UK'.

The organisation says it has 'seen first-hand the human impact of detention at Campsfield' for nearly 25 years and said many detainees 'struggled to maintain their safety, dignity, health and family relationships'.

It paid tribute to them, supportive individuals and organisations and local volunteers who helped its detainee support service and visiting group.

The organisation says it will work with the remaining detainees until the closure and praised those staff 'who carried out their duties with respect and compassion'.

In a statement, it added: "We urge the public to maintain an interest in the welfare of detainees who will continue to be held at removal centres elsewhere in the UK that are considered to run a more harsh regime than at Campsfield.

"Their safety relies on your concern."

The Campaign to Close Campsfield is holding a talk at Oxford Town Hall on November 22 and a demonstration at the site on November 24 to highlight its ongoing battle.