A WEST Somerset hotel has been sold by its owners of more than 20 years, and is to provide accommodation for vulnerable young people in the local area.

Gascony Hotel, which boasts 20 bedrooms, is located in Minehead - just three minutes' walk from the seafront.

The traditional, Victorian style hotel was operated by Derek and Angela Tomlinson for almost 23 years, but it has now been sold to YMCA Dulverton Group.

Derek and Angela said: "While being sad at leaving the hotel after all these years, we are delighted that the building will be repurposed for such a worthwhile cause.

"We wish YMCA Dulverton group every success in their venture.”

Under the ownership of the community charity - which supports children, young people and families across Somerset and Devon - the hotel will be transformed into the group’s newest accommodation and support hub.

Once the work is completed, it will provide accommodation for young homeless individuals and families in the area, in the manner of the Beach Hotel (also in Minehead), which is operated as a similar centre by YMCA.

Speaking on behalf of the group, head of development Peter Stephenson said: “The hotel came on to the market at just the right time, and the whole team have been amazing in bringing it forward to completion.

"Being such a great building and so cared for, within two months we will be able to provide great accommodation and support for those people who require it.”

Stephen Champion, of Christie & Co, brokered the sale, and he commented: “We are delighted to have brokered this transaction which will enable our clients Derek and Angela to retire from the business.

"Although it is always disappointing to see a hotel cease trading, we are delighted to see that the building will be going to good use by providing much needed accommodation for vulnerable young people and families within the area.”

The Gascony Hotel was sold off a guide price of £720,000 on a freehold basis.