Co-operative Bank funds Youth Hostel accommodation refurbishment

January 17, 2012

The Co-operative Bank has agreed a £13m funding package with national accommodation  provider  YHA  (the Youth Hostels Association) in England and Wales.

The Bank’s specialist charity team has agreed to the funding which will be used to refurbish YHA’s 200 youth hostels, bunk houses and camping barns across England and Wales, and to refinance a debt facility.

YHA  has an ambitious strategy to reinvest in its entire hostel network, modernising facilities to meet customer demand and expectation.

The  funding will enable YHA to significantly invest into its portfolio, including  its  Central  London  properties,  which are popular with the backpacker market, and Loosehill Hall in the Peak District, a popular group hostel.

Barbara Hodgson, Regional Manager of The Co-operative Bank’s Charity and Social  Enterprise  Team  (North  and Midlands), said: “The Youth Hostel Association  is  an organisation with a proven track record in providing quality accommodation to its customers.

“Despite the challenging economic outlook, this shows how the Bank continues to support charitable organisations and offer a full range of services to its clients.

“One of the main aims of YHA is to inspire everyone, especially young people, to broaden their horizons gaining knowledge and independence through new experiences of adventure and discovery.

“The plan that YHA has in place will undoubtedly ensure that individuals and  groups  will  have access to high quality, affordable accommodation options  across  England  and  Wales  and  we are delighted to offer the organisation our support.

“Charities and social enterprises are increasingly seeking financial advice  from  companies  they  can trust and our proven track record and wealth of experience puts us in good stead to support these organisations moving forward.”

Caroline  White, Chief Executive at YHA: “Our vision is to reach out and enhance  the  lives  of  young  people.  We want to double the number of young people who experience YHA and the support of the Co-operative Bank will be essential in achieving that goal.”

Recent data from The Co-operative Bank has shown that its charity business has doubled since 2008 with customer numbers increasing from 2,481 to 4,818.

Research conducted by Eiris* has showed that 78% of people would think worse  of  a  charity if they knew they had money invested in activities contrary to its work and values. The Co-operative Group runs a dedicated programme to inspire young people to become active citizens in their community in order to change their  world for the better through education, opportunities and campaigning.

Additional Information:

*Eiris – What is the UK’s Publics Opinion of Charitable Investments - 2011

Contact Information:

Jenna Moss
The Co-operative Financial Services Press Office
Tel: 0161 903 3831 /
Email :jenna.moss@cfs.coop
Twitter: @CoopBankingPR