overhaul of Highbridge Hotel 'will proceed despite cash shortfall'
YMCA has this week said that the £11million Highbridge Hotel
redevelopment project will still 'eventually go ahead' despite
a major funding shortfall.
district councillors councillors have been told at their latest
meeting that the project faces significant financial challenges
and may need major investment in order to go forward.
project intends to deliver 59 new homes on the old cattle market
site, and it will also redevelop the fire-damaged former hotel
into new accommodation for the YMCA plus a multi-use games area,
as first reported here.
have given their support to the initial phase of the project,
for the proposed homes to be built and the former hotel to be
"reinstated as a wind and water-proof building."
councillors were surprised that a report on the project made no
mention of the timeframes for the development and refers to a
"significant gap in the funding to deliver the comprehensive
Hotel owner Derek Mead told Burnham-On-Sea.com in July that the
£11million project to transform the fire-hit property is
being held up by EDF's long-running discussions with the government
over funding for Hinkley Point C, as we reported here.
District Council spokeswoman Claire Faun told Burnham-On-Sea.com
this week: "The permission has been granted, but the S106
agreement has yet to be agreed. This is within normal timescales
and all partners are working toward a viable funding package."
a statement, Martin Hodgson, Bridgwater YMCA chief executive,
added: "We are all working really hard to see whether we
can attract the funding to make the hotel go forward because its
very much needed. If we can secure the hotel, to make sure that
no further damage is caused to it, that will make it easier to
attract funding. Its about managing peoples expectations.
It will happen eventually."
Griffin, Sedgemoor District Council's corporate director, said
the council had not yet given any money to an outside party, but
added that it is not unusual for local authorities to give financial
support to affordable housing schemes.
Hotel has been derelict since a huge
blaze occurred in April 2008 and negotiations about its future
have been ongoing ever since.