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YMCA’s new lease of life

Matthew Ward outside the former YMCA building which has been converted into student accommodation by builders Fred Hall and Son.

Matthew Ward outside the former YMCA building which has been converted into student accommodation by builders Fred Hall and Son.

A NEW office will help students in Lancaster find somewhere to live.

Lancaster University Students’ Union (LUSU) Living opened its new hub in the former YMCA building in China Street last month.

The office will help with housing enquiries and there’s also a lounge area for students in LUSU accommodation to have coffee and access free Wifi.

The landmark building had lain derelict for more than a decade before being restored to its former glory last year in a £1m project by Whittington-based builders Fred Hall & Son.

The property, parts of which date to the 18th Century, was transformed into nine luxury student flats with LUSU Living’s office on the ground floor.

Matthew Ward, LUSU Living manager, said: “It’s been a really exciting project, to be involved with a building like this from its inception. We usually deal with traditional houses and flats, but this building is our flagship.”

LUSU Living acts as the landlord and rented out the nine flats off plan for 2012-2013. All of the flats have now been booked until the summer of 2014. “We had to wait a few months before opening our office on the ground floor because we need to recruit a sixth member to our LUSU team to really make it work,” said Matthew.

LUSU Living has 284 properties south of the River Lune and helped 900 undergraduates and 250 postgraduates find accommodation last year.

The office and social space in China Street is open 10-4pm during term time.

 

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