A formal ground-cutting ceremony has been held this week to mark the start of the long-awaited multi-million pound redevelopment of the Highbridge Hotel site.

As first reported here, YMCA Somerset Coast has awarded the building contract for the new Highbridge Hotel replacement building to John Perkins Construction.

This week, representatives from the YMCA, Sedgemoor District Council and the various organisations involved with the project gathered for the ground breaking ceremony, as pictured here.

Cllr Bob Filmer said it was great to see the project underway, adding: “This will be a tremendous asset for Highbridge and the surrounding area. It will make a big difference at the entrance to Highbridge. It’s a town on the way back up.”

The redeveloped building will provide a community hub, café and sports hall alongside 23 homes for vulnerable young people.

Sedgemoor District Council Chairman welcomed the start of the long-awaited building project, saying it was “a new start to this landmark site.”

Andrew Pearce, YMCA Somerset Coast Director of Housing, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “The renovated building will offer opportunity for the community, and young people.”

“It is so exciting to be working with our local authority partners to deliver a much needed resource to the community.”

The original hotel was ravaged by fire in 2008 and 2011, and the YMCA took over the site in 2014. The work started, but due to the condition and listed nature of the building it took considerable time to get to a stage where the build can begin.

Rupert Perkins, Contracts Director of John Perkins Construction, said: “We’re thrilled to be getting involved with such an exciting redevelopment, which will have a transformative effect on an area that really deserves investment.”

“Our recent experience of working with YMCA Bristol on the award-winning Bristol Wing renovation was an extremely positive one, and we’re pleased to be building new relationships with YMCA Somerset Coast on the Highbridge Hotel project.”

“Once finished, this community hub promises to help local people for years to come, and we’re proud to contribute to this great legacy.”

Sedgemoor portfolio holder for housing, Councillor Andrew Gilling, added: “I am very pleased that the project is moving into its final phase.”

“There have been quite a few hiccups over the past ten years, but now that the construction contractor has been appointed to complete the community hub, café and sports hall as well as the ‘follow on’ accommodation, I am very much looking forward to seeing the end result.”

The project is being funded by the YMCA, Sedgemoor District Council, and Homes England.

Local historians say the hotel was likely founded in the late 18th century and it has been a landmark at the entry to the town for years, as pictured above.

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