YHA Swanage unveils £1.5m refurbishment

YHA Swanage unveils £1.5m refurbishment

Charity | Posted: Thursday, July 5th, 2018 at 4:18 pm | return to news

YHA Swanage unveils £1.5m refurbishment

Year five pupils from St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Swanage, have unveiled the result of the town’s £1.5m youth hostel refurbishment.

YHA Swanage unveils £1.5m refurbishment

Pupils from the school were the guests of honour at the youth hostel’s grand re-opening following a six month £1.5 million refurbishment programme.

The extensive investment at YHA Swanage has created 11 brand new en suite bedrooms and one fully accessible bedroom, which means wheelchair users, will be able to stay at the youth hostel.

Open plan communal social spaces where groups can play and eat together have also been created and all 25 bedrooms at the popular youth hostel have also been completely redecorated and refurbished. Additionally, the youth hostel’s classrooms, which are regularly used by visiting schools studying the geology of the nearby Jurassic coast, have been upgraded.

The refurbishment has been made possible thanks to generous donations from individuals, YHA members and organisations, including The Bernard Sunley Foundation.

The youth hostel has a special relationship with St Mary’s Catholic Primary. Two years ago, the school used YHA Swanage’s classrooms while two of its classrooms were under construction.

Commenting on the transformation of the building, 9-year-old Eleanor Ranger said, “I was shocked when I saw the inside of the youth hostel. It is really modern and looks splendid. It is also very welcoming.”

The Victorian building has been a youth hostel for nearly 70 years after being gifted to the leading youth charity by the Ministry of Education in 1948. Since then, more than one million young people have visited YHA Swanage as part of a school group or with their family.

Today, YHA Swanage welcomes nearly 18,000 young people and their families every year. Following the refurbishment, visitor numbers are expected to increase by 2,000 more guests each year.

James Blake, Chief Executive of YHA (England and Wales), explained, “YHA has been in Swanage for nearly 70 years and while the youth hostel may have been given an extensive face lift, one of the things that has not changed in that time is our charitable purpose.

“We know the transformative power of travel, adventure and discovery for young people and creating an environment like we have done at Swanage will enable even more young people and their families to access life enhancing experiences with YHA.

“I am delighted at what we have been able to achieve at YHA Swanage. The youth hostel looks fantastic and it could not have been done with the very generous support of YHA members and benefactors.

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