Hull City Council has acquired the former hostel, William Booth House, from the Salvation Army for the symbolic sum of £1, marking a significant step towards revitalising the property. The council plans to engage with the local community to determine the best future use of the Hessle Road site, which has been vacant since April 2023.

This proactive purchase was motivated by the desire to prevent the property from being acquired by parties that might not have the community’s best interests at heart. The council’s decision came in the wake of concerns from residents and local representatives about the future of the building and the need for clearer communication from the council.

In anticipation of the building’s transformation, Hull City Council has allocated £75,000 for initial planning and refurbishment efforts. Additionally, the council will take on the responsibility for a £3.1 million Social Housing Grant associated with William Booth House. Councillor Paul Drake-Davis, responsible for regeneration, underscored the importance of securing the building to ensure it serves a meaningful purpose rather than becoming a source of substandard accommodation.

A key focus for the council moving forward is to conduct a thorough consultation with stakeholders, particularly local residents, to explore potential uses for the building that would benefit the community. The council’s commitment to open and transparent discussions is intended to ensure that any redevelopment aligns with the community’s needs and enhances the area’s social fabric.

The acquisition of William Booth House by Hull City Council for £1 opens up opportunities for positive redevelopment and community engagement, setting the stage for the property to become a valuable asset to the local area.