FIFTY desperate refugees fleeing the Syrian war will start arriving into Worcestershire this summer, it has emerged.

After months of private talks we can exclusively reveal how the Home Office is preparing to charter a plane to fly them over within weeks – with the first group expected in early-July.

Now council chiefs and volunteers are urging the public to give them a special Worcestershire welcome, saying this county can help transform their lives.

Back in January this year Worcestershire County Council agreed to step in and help the Prime Minister by taking 50 Syrians in.

The decision came after councillors controversially turned down a plea to host 12 of them in June last year due to fears over the costs.

But after the Government agreed to pick up the tab council chief relented and over the last four months detailed talks have progressed with the Home Office to make it reality.

Bosses at County Hall are currently recruiting an outside organisation, which will work under contract, to oversee the whole relocation process.

The tender is due to be selected on Friday, May 13 with several bodies bidding to try and win the rights to take the project on.

After that date the details will be finalised to bring the first wave over, including settling on the exact location in Worcestershire and their housing.

The Home Office had already started its preparations to charter a plane to Birmingham International Airport and the process of selecting 50 refugees has been complete, overseen by the United Nations.

Although the arrival date is fluid, the expectation is that if it all goes well they will start to arrive in July, although it could be as soon as next month.

Alan Smith, partnership relationship manager at the county council, said: "Since January we have continued to work closely with a number of partner organisations including local housing authorities and the Home Office, to resettle a total of 50 Syrian refugees in 2016.

"We're currently out to tender for a 'Worcestershire Refugee Integration and Independence Service' and subject to a successful provider being appointed the earliest we can anticipate the first refugees arriving in Worcestershire will be during the summer.

"No decision has been made on where the refugees will be resettled, however we are grateful to the number of volunteer groups across the county who have offered their support."

The Government will fit the whole bill for 2016 and then offer £5,000 per head for 2017 to cover the council's costs, working out at £250,000.

Under the deal the Home Office will carry on funding the support for Worcestershire's Syrians every year up to 2020, but the cash will steadily taper down to just £1,000 per-head in the final year.

The money is aimed at funding school places for children and access to mental health services, language classes, assessment for benefits and support finding work.

Campaigner Ruth Forecast, the group 'Malvern Welcomes Syrian Refugees', said: "From our perspective everything is very positive.

"We've been closely involved with it all to discuss how we can help be an essential part of this process.

"They will have been through a terrible trauma."

The relocation is part of a pledge by David Cameron to resettle 23,000 Syrians into the UK by 2020.