More visas have been approved for Ukrainian refugees to stay with sponsors in South Lakeland under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, according to new figures.

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 South Lakeland stood at 113 – up from 16 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% 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% of sponsors could not be assigned to a local area.