The long-awaited revamp of the derelict Highbridge Hotel site looks set to finally start this month, the man overseeing the project has said this week.

The eyesore has been derelict for almost eight years after a huge fire destroyed the Highbridge Hotel in April 2008 followed by several other smaller blazes.

But with the help of signficant grant funding, the YMCA is set to redevelop the site and transform it into a modern premises with 22 affordable flats for young people with community sports facilities.

This week, YMCA Somerset Chief Executive Martin Hodgson, pictured, who is leading the project, told “Works will start to the building during the last week of February.”

The news is a welcome step forward amid continuing dismay at the lack of progress.

Burnham and Highbridge Town Council Town Clerk Denise Emery told on Thursday: “We are disappointed at the lack of visible progress in developing the hotel.”

“We had hoped that after the YMCA’s update to the council last year that the work to take down parts of the facade would have started.”

But the YMCA has held extensive discussions with key stakeholders, such as Sedgemoor District Council and English Heritage, to progress the project while preserving key elements of the Grade-2 listed property.