A homeless hostel which houses more than 50 vulnerable men is set to close in Glasgow.
The Bellgrove Hotel, a private hostel in the east end of the city, has been purchased by Lowther Homes, a subsidiary of Wheatley Group, after it was put on the market in October.
The B-listed Bellgrove Hotel was originally built in the 1930s to provide accommodation for working men and in recent years it became a hostel.
The site of the hotel will be transformed into mid-market rental homes as part of the ongoing work of the Gallowgate Transformational Regeneration Area, which has seen new homes built in the area.
As a result, the residents of the hostel will be given the opportunity to move into Glasgow Housing Association homes.
Staff from Wheatley Care, part of the Wheatley Group, will work with Glasgow‘s Health and Social Care Partnership to help the residents move from the hostel into homes with support in place for those who need it.
The acquisition was funded by Glasgow City Council and Transforming Communities Glasgow, which aim to deliver community and housing-led regeneration at eight locations across the city.
Patrick Flynn, director of city development at Glasgow City Council, said: “The acquisition of the Bellgrove Hotel by the council and our Transforming Communities: Glasgow partners will both allow the regeneration of the Gallowgate and pave the way for the hostel’s residents to move to their own homes and receive the support they need.
“This is a major step forward in the transformation of an east end neighbourhood, and we can look forward to the local community continuing to play a key role of the development of the area in which they live.”
Jon Sparkes, chief executive of homeless charity Crisis, said: “We have been deeply concerned by reports over the treatment of residents in this horrendous ‘hotel’ for some time. In truth we are delighted to see it finally closing its doors – no one should ever have to live somewhere like this.
“Scotland has made huge progress in ending rough sleeping since the start of the pandemic, but there are now record numbers of people in temporary accommodation, often without access to proper cooking or laundry facilities.
“Temporary accommodation is an emergency solution for someone experiencing homelessness, but temporary should mean temporary.
“We must all work together to ensure people living in hotels and B&Bs are supported to move into safe, and settled homes as quickly as possible and are not left in limbo, unable to rebuild their lives.”
A spokesperson for Glasgow City Mission added: “We are glad to hear that the Bellgrove Hotel has been removed from private ownership as we feel there was a lack of support for those that were staying there.
“We look forward to finding out in due course what the Wheatley Group plans are for the building and how it might benefit some of our guests.”
Bernadette Hewitt, GHA chair and TC:G board member, said: “All of the residents at Bellgrove will be offered the chance of a GHA home or alternative accommodation to meet their needs with support in place to help them settle.
“At GHA and across Wheatley, we share the vision that everyone should be able, with support, to lead independent lives in their own home and this is very much part of that.
“The Bellgrove unlocks the potential for us not only to improve the lives of the people currently living in the hostel but also to continue the transformation of the community with a further phase of new affordable housing for local people.”