The immigration centre in West Sussex costs a staggering £150,000-a-night per family as families spend just three days there
A detention centre for migrants awaiting deportation is more expensive than the RITZ after 14 families cost the taxpayer £6million.
The immigration detention centre, Cedars, can accommodate up to nine families, at the cost of nearly £34,000-a-year per person, almost double the average annual salary.
However most families only spend three days there, meaning the real cost comes to a staggering £150,000-a-night per family – making it more expensive than the Ritz or Savoy posh London hotels.
Children’s charity Barnado’s , which provides Cedar’s social workers and child welfare services, has also reached an agreement with the Home Office not to house more than three families at a time.
The bloated costs have created outcry and the government is facing calls to shut the centre down.
In a recent report, former prisons ombudsman Stephen Shaw said that the current use of Cedars was “simply unacceptable at a time of financial austerity.”
Shaw added: “It was reported that most families remain in their rooms and that the extensive play and entertainment facilities were widely under-used.
“Many of the facilities were barely, if ever, in use, for example a well-equipped multi gym.
“The centre had no residents on either of the two occasions I visited.”
Cedars was opened in 2011 with the support of former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg .
Each of its nine apartments has a kitchen, lounge area, family bathroom and between one and three bedrooms that can house up to six people.
There are also play areas for small children, a gym, a library with books in different languages, a multi-sensory room and a cafe and dining area where residents can have three meals a day or take food away.
Outside Cedars has landscaped gardens, play areas for children, a basketball court and a multi-faith prayer room and mosque.
Round-the-clock healthcare is also available at the detention centre, which includes daily access to a GP, counselling support to help children manage emotional distress, childcare staff and qualified social workers.
A Home Office spokesman said: “The low level of use of Cedars is a testament to the success of the returns process and that more families are accepting voluntary assistance to leave the UK when they no longer have a lawful basis to stay here.
“Cedars has only ever been intended to be used as a last resort after all voluntary return options have failed and following the advice of a panel of independent child safeguarding experts.
“The ongoing cost of pre-departure accommodation is under review.”