Taunton Council lends £750k to YMCA for boutique hotel transformation project

Great western

A former hotel at Taunton Station is to be redeveloped as a boutique hotel, in a project spearheaded by the local YMCA.

The Grade-II listed Great Western House, which has been derelict for four years, will be given a new lease of life after Taunton Deane Borough Council agreed to lend £750k towards the project.

The council has granted an enabling loan to exchange on the building, with a further loan to be agreed in the coming weeks to facilitate its purchase.

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The YMCA will be transforming the property to create 14 bedrooms, a café and conference space, as well as co-working areas for small businesses.

The refurbishment is scheduled to begin this month, with a launch date of January 2019.  

The project will be funded through a mix of sources including the EDF Community Impact Mitigation Fund, the Railway Heritage Trust and YMCA resources.

The project will be the third conversion for YMCA Somerset Coast, which has already undertaken similar schemes at the Beach Hotel, in Minehead, and Barley Wood Country House, in Wrington, North Somerset.

The focus at each property is offering hospitality training and arming young people with business skills to develop their careers in the sector.

Dave Jackson, director of social enterprise for YMCA Somerset Coast said: “This is another hugely exciting opportunity for us to help inspire and change the lives of young people of the area.

“We have already seen amazing transformations within our other projects, not only the buildings but the lives of the young people we work with.

“We have seen them move from our supported housing offering to complete catering qualifications and are now running departments in Michelin starred kitchens across the UK.”

The £750,000 loan will be paid back over 25 years, earning the council more than £180,000 in interest.

Tags : councilGreat Western HouseinvestmentSomersetTauntonYMCA
Zoe Monk

The author Zoe Monk

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