Highbridge YMCA hostel receives £1.1m funding boost

Highbridge Hotel, Highbridge Image copyright other
Image caption The Highbridge Hotel has been left in a derelict state since a fire six years ago

Work to turn a derelict hotel in Somerset into a hostel for young and vulnerable people could begin by the end of the year.

The YMCA has planning permission to turn Highbridge Hotel into a 22-room hostel and community centre.

It will put the development contract out to tender, now that it has been awarded £1.1m by the Homes and Communities Agency.

It is hoped the hostel could be open by spring 2016.

Martin Hodgson, chief executive of the YMCA, said: "It is a fantastic building and is the gateway to Highbridge so it would be fantastic to regenerate the site."

The former hotel was burnt out in a fire six years ago.

Since then it has become an eyesore in the town, as is it boarded up and covered in graffiti.

Sedgemoor District Council is due to make a decision about a request for a change to the planning consent in the coming months.

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