Stow-on-the-Wold youth hostel will close

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Stow's youth hostel will close as it will cost too much to bring it up to standard Stow's youth hostel will close as it will cost too much to bring it up to standard

A CHARITY-RUN hostel which has provided low-cost overnight accommodation for thousands of walkers, cyclists and other visitors to the North Cotswolds for almost 80 years is to close.

Stow-on-the-Wold youth hostel, a 48-bed Grade II listed 17th century townhouse in The Square, opened in 1935 and will go on the market shortly.

Sam Littlechilds, spokesman for the Youth Hostel Association (YHA) said over the last few years the Stow hostel had been making a small loss and it would cost around half a million pounds “to bring it up the standards that our customers and guests expect.”

It is currently averaging 49 per cent occupancy.

Mr Littlechilds said over the last three years the YHA, which has 138 hostels in England and Wales, had invested around £17 million on its properties over the last three years and had significant plans to continue to do so.

“TheYHA constantly reviews the quality and the locations of its accommodation to ensure that our members and guests are getting the best experience when they stay with us.

Unfortunately these are sites where the location and the scale of investment needed means we can no longer afford to retain them with YHA ownership.

YHA spokesman Sam Littlechilds

“The YHA has always opened new sites - and closed them - adapting and investing in our network.

“Decisions like hostel closures are never taken lightly and the staff at the affected sites are our first priority. Unfortunately these are sites where the location and the scale of investment needed means we can no longer afford to retain them with YHA ownership.

“We hope that some of the sites will become part of the YHA network again under our Enterprise scheme. We are working closely with staff as part of a full consultation period,” added Mr Littlechilds.

The Stow building will be put for sale shortly but it is guaranteed to remain open until the end of September. A manager and five seasonal staff are employed there.

The nearest YHA hostels to Stow are at Stratford-upon-Avon and Oxford.

Comments (7)

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12:38pm Sat 10 May 14

Dave Barclay says...

What a pity, I stayed there years ago as a youngster.
I do wonder however, how long it has been since the YHA did any real work on the building because half a million pounds to bring it up to scratch suggests it has been some time.
What a pity, I stayed there years ago as a youngster. I do wonder however, how long it has been since the YHA did any real work on the building because half a million pounds to bring it up to scratch suggests it has been some time. Dave Barclay
  • Score: 0

11:41am Sun 11 May 14

David Broad says...

I can see that selling a property with that sort of value would be very attractive to people trying to run the YHA as a business, but the YHA is a charity not a business and this will leave a massive area of the cotswolds without a Youth Hostel, It may be working at 50% capacity but surely no one expects high occupancy levels when hostelling is largely a summer activity squeezed into 3 months or so of education sector holidays. I have no problem with closing this building but we should call on the YHA to provide a replacement to be available for the follwoing summer, And until this is set up the existing facility should remain open.
I can see that selling a property with that sort of value would be very attractive to people trying to run the YHA as a business, but the YHA is a charity not a business and this will leave a massive area of the cotswolds without a Youth Hostel, It may be working at 50% capacity but surely no one expects high occupancy levels when hostelling is largely a summer activity squeezed into 3 months or so of education sector holidays. I have no problem with closing this building but we should call on the YHA to provide a replacement to be available for the follwoing summer, And until this is set up the existing facility should remain open. David Broad
  • Score: -2

7:42pm Sun 11 May 14

Rex Cooper says...

Anyone else notice that the Standard ignores the biggest story-
The fever pitch of opposition to the Chesterton housing plan hardly gets mentioned but "a white van man in suspenders " story is featured.
What is going on at the Standard ?
Anyone else notice that the Standard ignores the biggest story- The fever pitch of opposition to the Chesterton housing plan hardly gets mentioned but "a white van man in suspenders " story is featured. What is going on at the Standard ? Rex Cooper
  • Score: 2

6:30am Mon 12 May 14

Olly Cromwell says...

Er, there will be a new YHA in the Brewery car park.

The sham 'consultation' on the new suburb for Cirencester literally kicked-off on Saturday morning.

This 'done deal' is not 'done'.
Er, there will be a new YHA in the Brewery car park. The sham 'consultation' on the new suburb for Cirencester literally kicked-off on Saturday morning. This 'done deal' is not 'done'. Olly Cromwell
  • Score: 4

11:17am Mon 12 May 14

Tina Robins says...

HI Rex, You'll be pleased to know a reporter went to the consultation at the weekend and is working on a story today. The white van man story was top of the most read list because it was most popular with the readers.
HI Rex, You'll be pleased to know a reporter went to the consultation at the weekend and is working on a story today. The white van man story was top of the most read list because it was most popular with the readers. Tina Robins
  • Score: -2

2:44pm Mon 12 May 14

Rex Cooper says...

Tina Robins wrote:
HI Rex, You'll be pleased to know a reporter went to the consultation at the weekend and is working on a story today. The white van man story was top of the most read list because it was most popular with the readers.
So that's all right then is it that a white van/naked man is the top news story.?
If I was a journalist I'd wonder why I bother.
Anyway lets see what the Standard makes of the so called housing consultation. Its big news - see if the Standard sees it that way - captures the real anger there is around the town
[quote][p][bold]Tina Robins[/bold] wrote: HI Rex, You'll be pleased to know a reporter went to the consultation at the weekend and is working on a story today. The white van man story was top of the most read list because it was most popular with the readers.[/p][/quote]So that's all right then is it that a white van/naked man is the top news story.? If I was a journalist I'd wonder why I bother. Anyway lets see what the Standard makes of the so called housing consultation. Its big news - see if the Standard sees it that way - captures the real anger there is around the town Rex Cooper
  • Score: 0

12:32am Tue 13 May 14

David Broad says...

From memory the Cirencester application was not for the YHA. I voted against it as I did not want to lose a performance venue.
The white van man suspender story pales into insignificance compared with the 2mph car collision at Chedworth story, 2 mph is barely half walking speed, Oh and Hare bushes is about 5 miles from Chedworth.
From memory the Cirencester application was not for the YHA. I voted against it as I did not want to lose a performance venue. The white van man suspender story pales into insignificance compared with the 2mph car collision at Chedworth story, 2 mph is barely half walking speed, Oh and Hare bushes is about 5 miles from Chedworth. David Broad
  • Score: 0

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