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YHA to seek new home in Cardiff

YHA (England & Wales) is to begin its search for a new 5-star home in Cardiff, following the agreement to transfer ownership of its East Tyndall Street youth hostel to the city council.

YHA Cardiff Central was one of the properties YHA licensed to local councils temporarily to support the most vulnerable and keep people safe during the pandemic. The youth hostel has since become an integral part Cardiff Council’s ‘No Going Back’ approach to delivering homelessness services and its Covid-19 recovery strategy.

YHA (the Youth Hostels Association) will now look for a new home in Cardiff and will work closely with the council to achieve this. James Blake, Chief Executive of YHA (England & Wales) explained: “Transferring the ownership of our East Tyndall Street youth hostel to Cardiff Council is beneficial for everyone. It gives us the opportunity to find a new home in a more central part of the capital which will make the rich culture and heritage of Cardiff more easily accessible to the thousands of guests who stay with us each year.”

The enforced closure of its network of properties during the pandemic has led to a loss of 80% of the YHA’s income which, despite welcome support from both the Welsh and UK Governments, has resulted in a cash loss of over £10 million so far this financial year.

The transfer of the Cardiff site will provide vital funds to help the charity recover, and in the longer term it will support YHA’s reinvestment in its Welsh network of youth hostels, including a new site in the capital.

Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Councillor Lynda Thorne, said: “The opportunity to buy the YHA hostel we’ve been using for almost 12 months now is an exciting one. The accommodation and services we’ve delivered there have been crucial to the success we have had during that time, supporting people away from life on the streets. 

“We’ve had an unprecedented opportunity to work with the vulnerable people who needed our support over the past year and we don’t want to lose that momentum. We’ve committed to ‘No Going Back’ and buying the hostel is an important step on that journey.”

James Blake added: “I thank Cardiff Council for their continued support and commitment to YHA in Cardiff and look forward to working closely with them on the search for a new home in the capital.”

Although currently closed, when restrictions allow, YHA’s 24 youth hostels in Wales will be re-opened across the country to provide accommodation for individuals, families, groups and schools.

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