Figures have shown more visas have been approved to stay with sponsors in Cumbria under the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

They come amid criticism that the UK Government is not granting visas fast enough, leaving families and sponsors in limbo.

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 Carlisle stood at 71 – up from 11 as of April 6, when local figures on the scheme were first published.

Across the UK as a whole, 51,300 visas had been issued by April 27, equating to around 69 per cent of the 74,700 applications made to that date.

The proportion of people waiting has dropped since April 7, when just 12,500 applications had been issued from 43,600 applications, but the number of Ukrainians that have come to the UK through the scheme remains low, with the latest national figures showing just 11,100 had arrived by April 25.

The Government cautioned the data is likely to contain some duplicate records, while around 2 per cent of sponsors could not be assigned to a local area.