MINEHEAD’S iconic Beach Hotel is open and ready for business, almost a year since YMCA Somerset Coast announced plans to take it over.

The hotel is also home to a café, the Minehead Museum and the town’s information centre, all of which have been opened for a few months.

But now the hotel itself – and a restaurant – are ready to start taking customers.

Manager Dave Jackson said: “We’ve already had our first few guests this week and we’re looking forward to welcoming more.

“It’s exciting to see it all taking place.”

The YMCA wanted to take over the building to provide jobs and accommodation for young people in the area.

They have been working hard to get everything in order since the green light was given in November.

West Somerset College is working in collaboration with the YMCA to provide the training element for staff.

MP for West Somerset, Ian Liddell Grainger said: “The YMCA has worked very hard to put this project together to help young people in Minehead and to provide employment and training in the tourist industry which is so important in the area.”