The Chief Executive of YMCA Somerset Coast has pledged that the long-awaited redevelopment of the Highbridge Hotel site will be completed in August 2019.

Speaking to town councillors on Monday evening (September 3rd) as building work got underway at the hotel site, Martin Hodgson said: “I am confident that the new building will appear before our eyes over the next 11 months and become the new gateway to Highbridge. The building work will be completed next August and the facilities will open next September.”

He added: “It is a new chapter for the hotel and we want to engage with the community to involve residents on how it is used. We’d like to see the building used by all – it’s been long enough in the making!”

Burnham and Highbridge Mayor Bill Hancock added: “It’s fantastic to see the building work starting at last.”

As we reported last week, Chairman of Sedgemoor District Council, Mike Cresswell along with Arthur Leigh, Chair of YMCA Somerset Coast, dug up the first sod to mark the start of work on the long awaited project.

The pair were joined by representatives from Sedgemoor District council and members of the construction team at John Perkins for the official cutting of the sod ceremony.

The former hotel was severely damaged by fire in 2008 and also in 2011 before YMCA took control of the site in 2014. The challenging project will provide a community hub, café, sports hall and dedicated meeting spaces alongside 23 homes for vulnerable young people.

During the ceremony, Chairman of Sedgemoor District Council, Mike Cresswell said, “This ceremony truly marks the end of the long wait. I am thrilled that all teams have persevered with the project to ensure that Highbridge can benefit from the housing and community hub it so desperately needs.”

Rupert Perkins, Contracts Director of John Perkins Construction, comments: “It’s fantastic to get such an important project officially underway. We have a great team in place and we’re ready and eager to get started on transforming this unloved, derelict site into a thriving community hub that will really benefit local people.”

Chief Executive of YMCA Somerset Coast, Martin Hodgson explained, “Although challenging, this project is a true representation of why we do what we do at YMCA Somerset Coast. Despite the hurdles, we endeavour to transform the iconic site into an integral community hub for all residents from the local community to benefit and enjoy.”

The site is being managed by John Perkins Construction, and is planned to complete by August 2019.

Pictured: (left to right): John Perkins (JP), Sedgemoor District Council (SDC),YMCA Somerset Coast (YMCA), Rupert Perkins (JP), Paul Fooks (JP), Arthur Leigh (YMCA), Councillor Mike Cresswell (SDC), Councillor Roger Keen (SDC), Teresa Harvey (SDC), Councillor Janet Keen (SDC), Councillor Bob Filmer (SDC), Hayden Pickett (JP), Councillor Andrew Gilling (SDC), Harry Parsons (SDC), Councillor Derek Alder (SDC), Esther Carter (SDC), Martin Hodgson (YMCA), Anthony Cooper (JP)