YHA defers decision to sell off less popular hostels

Anita Pati

YHA trustees have deferred making a decision on whether to sell off 40 of the charity's loss-making and less-used hostels until the end of January.

The charity, which operates 223 hostels, has been running at a loss since the foot-and-mouth crisis and the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001.

The sell-off would help repay its £34m debts.

YHA pays £1.6m in interest on its debt and needs to find £12.5m to spend on a backlog of hostel maintenance. It would also like to invest in more profit-making hostels.

The YHA had drawn up a strategy paper outlining possible solutions to its financial problems, with dozens of closures of mainly rural hostels being one possibility.

The charity's national council was originally to discuss options when it met in September, but this was postponed until the board of trustees met on 3 December.

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