CAMPAIGNERS are calling for a village youth hostel to be saved after plans were announced for it to be sold.

Hill House, a 44 bed hostel run by the Youth Hostel Association (YHA) in Streatley, has been put on the market and a campaign has been set up by residents to try and save it.

The campaign's Facebook page, Stop Sale of Streatley YHA, explains the hostel was donated to the YHA by a local resident Florence Reiss in 1935 to provide affordable accommodation for young people.

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Thousands of people have visited the Victorian house over the years which is situated at the crossroads of the Thames Path and Ridgeway National Trails with National Trust woodland behind it.

The campaigners explained the YHA attempted to sell the hostel in the early 1990s but this decision was overturned thanks to campaigner, Annette Steed, a grand daughter of Florence Reiss.

Campaigners say they want to ensure the YHA "stays true to its charitable objectives" which includes helping all "especially young people of limited means, to a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside, and appreciation of the cultural values of towns and cities, particularly by providing youth hostels or other accommodation for them in their travels, and thus to promote their health, recreation and education".

The group want to save the hostel so it can continue to "flourish" and is encouraging people to write a letter to the YHA Chief Executive.

The YHA explained the cost of directly maintaining all of their hostel network "to an adequate standard is simply not affordable" for their charity in recent years.

They have looked at "alternative operating arrangements" for hostels "where the costs of refurbishment are not financially sustainable" for them in the long term.

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A spokesperson explained: "In some cases, this has led us to consider, reluctantly, the closure of hostels.

"However this is not our preference."

They continued: "We have developed a new ‘Enterprise’ or franchise model whereby we either lease or sell a hostel to an entrepreneur who continues to operate the hostel under the YHA brand, but has the means and incentive to provide the investment that the hostel needs.

"Around 35 of our 150 hostels are successfully run using this model at the moment.

"YHA Streatley is a hostel that we have been looking at in this light.

"The YHA’s Board desire is to retain the hostel, but it is in need of significant investment which, for YHA, is financially unsustainable in the long term.

"We have therefore been looking at Enterprise as an alternative way forward.

"We have committed to continuing this search vigorously until at least July 2020, to maximise the chances of finding a suitable partner, and to that end we are keen to work with the local community to explore whether there might be any potential local partners whom we might pro-actively approach."

They added they are in touch with the family who originally donated the property to the YHA.

If you would like to keep up to date with the campaign's progress, visit the Facebook page Stop Sale of Streatley YHA.

The page has gathered more than 300 likes and 314 followers since it was set up in October last year.