Dozens of visas have been approved for Ukrainian refugees to stay with nominated households in South Ayrshire.

But this may not reflect the true number heading to the area, with thousands of visas granted nationwide sponsored by the Scottish Government.

The Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme, also known as Homes for Ukraine, allows citizens to volunteer to house refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine. Sponsors agree to offer accommodation for at least six months, with those receiving sponsorship allowed to live, work and study in the UK for up to three years.

Home Office data shows as of Tuesday (April 26), the number of visas issued for sponsors based in South Ayrshire stood at 38 – up from eight as of April 6, when local figures on the scheme were first published.

Local authority figures cover refugees who have already been linked with a named sponsor prior to their arrival. But around 3,000 of the 5,200 visas issued in Scotland fall under the Scottish Government’s “super sponsorship” scheme, where applicants do not have to be matched with a named sponsor at the point of application.

It means local figures are likely to be an underestimate, as refugees arriving in the country under this scheme will be linked with sponsors over time.