The result of a record £2.5 million investment in Bath Youth Hostel, which included the creation of a new annex, has been unveiled by the Mayor of Bath, Councillor Patrick Anketell-Jones.
In what has been the single biggest investment ever in a Youth Hostel in the South West by YHA (England and Wales), the future of YHA Bath has been secured for the next generation.
The results of the transformation were unveiled at a special event held at the Youth Hostel, which is based on Bathwick Hill, on Friday 26th April. The Mayor was also joined by Bath MP Wera Hobhouse.
The investment has seen the main Youth Hostel building, a Grade II-listed Italian-style mansion, completely refurbished and upgraded, with 16 new ensuite bedrooms added to the property’s offering.
Additionally, a brand new environmentally friendly bedroom annex has been built in the grounds to cater for the families and couples travel market.
The sustainable timber framed annex has been designed and constructed with energy efficiency in mind. Built using sustainable construction materials, the annex also features heat recovery units and LED lights.
Eleven new ensuite bedrooms have been created within the new annex. All bedroom doors have secure electronic key access for the many school groups that stay at YHA Bath each year.
Within the grounds, YHA Bath now also boasts a new cycle store and guest laundry. Thousands of young people who stay at the Youth Hostel each year will now benefit from the new, world class facilities.
In addition to accommodation, YHA Bath is working with a local catering college to provide work experience to students.
The Youth Hostel will also be building closer links with local schools and groups as well as offering volunteering, training and employment opportunities to young people, enabling them to develop employability and life skills.
Speaking at the event, the Mayor of Bath Councillor Patrick Anketell-Jones, said: “Bath Youth hostel has grown from strength to strength since 1953 and this latest £2.55million investment demonstrates how the nation’s youth are central to the provision of recreational facilities. I offer YHA my very best wishes for the future.”
Wera Hophouse MP added: “YHA has created a wonderful, welcoming and safe environment for people to stay in Bath. The new annex is fantastic. YHA is so much more than a low-cost accommodation provider. It offers young people a wealth of opportunities.
“From a parent’s point of view, I can confidently say that the opportunity for affordable travel can help shape young lives.”
James Blake, Chief Executive of YHA (England and Wales) added: “YHA Bath is a significant site for YHA and one I am delighted we have been able to realise the vision to create another world class youth hostel.
“Bath is one of the jewels in the YHA crown and has been one of our most treasured sites since it opened nearly 70 years ago.
“Its prominent position means it acts as a gateway to both the city and the South West, helping us attract thousands of visitors and schools to stay with us each year.
“The upgrading of the site and increase in accommodation will enable us to welcome more guests to stay with us each year.”
YHA Bath opened in 1953 and is now one of 19 Youth Hostels in the South West operated by YHA.
The investment in YHA Bath has added significance for the charity’s Chairman Peter Gaines, who hails from Wellow, and will step down from the position later this year.
Commenting on the investment in YHA Bath, Mr Gaines said: “As a Bath resident, I am particularly proud that we have been able to secure the Youth Hostel’s future during my tenure as Chairman.
“I step down from the role confident that the foundations have been laid not only in the South West but also nationally for the YHA of the future: a confident, outward looking, modern charity that not only provides fantastic accommodation but also undertakes brilliant work to support young people.”
YHA Bath has already seen an uplift in guest satisfaction scores following the refurbishment. In the first month of the hostel being fully open to guests, guest satisfaction rose from 86 per cent to 94 per cent.