YHA has been appointed by The Regenda Group to run and manage a new youth hostel and training centre located on the outskirts of Chester.
Opening in August 2021, the new youth hostel will create jobs, training and volunteering opportunities in two of the hardest hit sectors in the pandemic – hospitality and recreation.
YHA Chester Trafford Hall, a Grade II listed building, was recently acquired by The Regenda Group, sector leaders in people and place-based regeneration.
Located just four miles from Chester in the village of Wimbolds Trafford in Cheshire, the stunning Georgian mansion house is set in 14 acres of organic gardens, fields and woodland and is strategically placed for the many schools, groups, families and individuals that visit the historic Roman city and nearby Chester Races, Cheshire Oaks and Chester Zoo visitor attractions.
In addition to 53 en-suite bedrooms, which sleep between two and five people, YHA Chester Trafford Hall also has extensive conference and meeting facilities which will be available for day and residential hire.
Trafford Hall is an environmental haven, a model of conservation and green building. The Grade ll listed building boasts outstanding environmental credentials having recently received an EPC rating of B, only six points off an A rating, falling within the top 11% of EPCs. The rebuilt, timber frame Stables annex is already carbon neutral.
Additionally, the Hall uses 100% renewable energy for heating and hot water following the installation of a biomass district generator and solar panels. Only the kitchen stove uses gas. The all-organic grounds include an organic kitchen garden.
Welcoming YHA Chester Trafford Hall to YHA’s network of hostels, James Blake, Chief Executive said: “It is without doubt one of the most difficult times in YHA’s 90-year history however, with the vaccine roll-out well under way we see light at the end of the tunnel for everyone, so we are delighted to be in a position to move forward with the opening of YHA Chester Trafford Hall once government restrictions allow.
“What the pandemic has shown us all is the importance of time together in the outdoors. YHA Chester Trafford Hall’s strategic location in the North West at the gateway to Chester, will play a significant role in our charity’s aim to welcome 5 million people to stay in a youth hostel in England and Wales over the next five years.
“YHA Chester Trafford Hall offers affordable accommodation for young people, families and schools, as well as a great location for team building and residential corporate away days, which I know will be very much welcomed once travel restrictions are lifted.”
From 1989 until February 2019, Trafford Hall was owned and operated by the National Communities Resource Centre (NCRC) as a training and outreach centre and conferencing venue. Earlier this year NCRC joined The Regenda Group.
As part of the partnership between Regenda and YHA, Trafford Hall will continue to be the home of the National Communities Resource Centre as it continues to grow as a charity, helping social landlords across the country, residents and frontline staff to develop the skills needed to tackle serious social problems at a local level.
James Blake added: “Through our partnership with The Regenda Group we have been able not only to bring this fabulous property back into use but assist NCRC in continuing its vital work. I am delighted that the partnership will enable us both to reach more vulnerable and disadvantaged people in society.”
Lesley Burrows, Executive Director of the Regenda Group, said: “I am delighted that the National Communities and Resource Centre (NCRC) as part of the Regenda Group has established this fantastic partnership with the YHA. The synergy between the organisations means we have a great platform to support the NCRC on its mission to reduce inequality and provide people with the tools they need to sustain these gains. It will be great to welcome back visitors to Trafford Hall as hostel guests and programme delegates, we are encouraging enquiries as we know this his beautiful facility will be very popular!.”
Professor Anne Power, Chair of the NCRC, said: “Over 25 years, the NCRC has provided residential training to over 40,000 people from low-income communities, attracted over 100,000 participants to a wide range of events and offered pump-priming grants to help start over 2,600 new community projects tackling local issues and to support over 6,000 existing projects. This has created a ripple effect across communities, impacting over half a million people across the country. Our new partnership with the YHA and Regenda will help us reach so much further particularly at a time when communities have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic”.
Subject to COVID-19 safety guidance, YHA, NCRC and The Regenda Group aim to welcome guests and course participants to YHA Chester Trafford Hall from August later this year.
Private en-suite rooms start from just £29 and are available to book at yha.org.uk.