A CUT-price sale of Peak District study centre Losehill Hall to the Youth Hostel Association has now been completed.
The building, near Castleton, has been off-loaded to save £250,000 a year after the national park authority was hit by Government cuts.
Victorian Grade II-listed Losehill Hall has 41 bedrooms and hosted residential study courses for children and environmental professionals.
It was used by up to 22,000 young people and environmental professionals each year. But it is believed the national park authority sold the hall to the YHA for just £1.2 million, £550,000 less than the £1.75m market value, because it was thought likely to struggle to find a buyer on the open market.
Closure led to 40 full-time and part-time staff employed by the national park at Losehill Hall losing their jobs.
The purchase has now been completed by YHA, which will now begin a £1.5 million investment programme in the building, which will continue to host environmental study classes for young people.
YHA director of property, Jake Chalmers, said: “We’re thrilled that we’ve reached the end of the process of buying Losehill Hall.”
Tony Favell, chairman of the national park authority, said: “The completion of the sale secures the future of Losehill Hall as a place for thousands of people to learn and understand the importance of the Peak District National Park.
“We are pleased that our own learning and discovery team will continue to run environmental education courses from Losehill Hall once the refurbishment has been completed, alongside their work in other parts of the national park.”
Once building work is completed in February next year, the YHA will close its current hostel in Castleton, which will be sold. It will offer hostel accommodation at Losehill Hall.