Trying to save Coldingham hostel:
The history of hostelling in Scotland took a sharp if soundless twist last week when James Urquhart, a resident of Coldingham on the Berwickshire coast, opened a letter over his breakfast coffee. The Scottish Government informed him that, under community right-to-buy legislation, his company had been granted first refusal to buy the 36-bed youth hostel at Coldingham, earmarked for closure by the Scottish Youth Hostel Association (SYHA) last September.
If Urquhart, who is secretary of the 100-strong team of the newly formed Coldingham Sands Community Company (CSCC), is successful in raising the money required, he will have pulled off the first-ever community buy-out of a British youth hostel. "We're absolutely delighted with the decision and feel that the Scottish Government is being very supportive," he says.
Coldingham's community buy-out flies in the face of the recent trend of Scottish youth hostels being sold off to private purchasers. The total number of SYHA-owned hostels is 47. Fifty years ago, there were 90.
"Tourism in this area has really taken off in the last few years, and the closure of the hostel would mean it would not be able to accommodate visitors on a large scale." He cites the recent example of the Sea Kayaking Association having to cancel a booking of all the B&Bs and hotels in the area for a long weekend because there was not enough accommodation for its 100 members. "That booking alone would have brought in about £10,000 to the area."
Full story here.