YMCA abandons Yarmouth Two Bears Hotel base plan

Mary Ives (left), Tim Sweeting (right)outside the redundant Two Bears Hotel in Great Yarmouth
Image caption Tim Sweeting (right) had planned to turn the Two Bears into a hostel

A charity has abandoned its plans to set up a new youth hostel at a former hotel in Norfolk due to "uncertainty" over its finances.

The YMCA was granted permission to turn the former Two Bears Hotel in Great Yarmouth into 23 flats and a community centre in December.

But the charity has said the project was too much of a financial risk due to uncertainty over government funding.

It said it would instead look to create a smaller hostel in the town.

The YMCA said it was looking to build accomodation at the former GPO exchange building on Hall Quay after it was recently vacated by another charity.

Tim Sweeting from the association said: "We needed to take on a very long lease in order to make it work and unfortunately the financial risk, considering the uncertainty over welfare reform, was just too much for us.

"[The new centre] will have the accommodation, but we won't have the ability to create the community space that we wanted to."

Mike Younger, from James Aldridge Chartered Surveyors which worked on the Two Bears project, said it was likely the former hotel would have to be demolished due to its "deteriorating" state.

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