The Youth Hostel Association (YHA) has submitted plans for an 850-bedroom ‘super hostel’ in London.
If planning permission is granted, YHA’s proposed facility will be in the Olympic Park next to Stratford Tube station and Westfield Shopping Centre. and a short walk from Stratford International mainline station in east London.
Construction will start in 2017 with plans to open in early 2019.
The £30 million project will be nearly three times larger than any other property within the YHA (England and Wales) network, and will include en suite bedrooms, bars, restaurants, conference and meeting facilities, a self-catering kitchen as well as communal spaces.
Chief executive Caroline White said: “This is a very exciting time in YHA’s 85-year history in England and Wales. We are responding directly to the needs of today’s young people and their families with our plans for YHA Stratford. Once built, it will further our vision to reach more young people and enable them to discover the capital with their school, group or family.”
YHA currently has seven hostels in London which have with relatively high year-round occupancy rates, and which support the charity’s financial stability.
Since 2010, YHA (England and Wales) has invested £30 million in its network of more than 160 properties in both rural and urban locations. During this period, the firm says occupancy rates have risen from 50% to over 60%, overnight stays increased from 1.7 to 1.8 million and income increased from £39.4 million to £46 million.
In addition to the proposed building at London’s Olympic Park, work is already underway on a brand new property – YHA The Sill at Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland National Park, which is expected to open in 2017. A number of refurbishments are also currently underway at YHA buildings in Swanage in Dorset, St David’s on the Pembrokeshire Coast and Tanners Hatch in the Surrey Hills.