A former hotel is set to change lives by helping people to recover from addiction in Kendal.
Plans to transform the Highgate Hotel were approved by both South Lakeland District Council and Kendal Town Council after an application to change the use of the building was looked at by planners.
The venue will become an abstinence-based recovery house for people with addiction which will be run by not-for-profit The Well Communities.
At Kendal Town Council’s planning meeting this week, Councillor Richard Sutton, who represents Kirkland ward, was enthusiastic about the change of use.
He said: “I was speaking about mental health recently and The Well Communities’ acquisition of Highgate Hotel.
“This is a good thing and could lead to some cross-organisational support, such as Manna House using its facilities.”
Dave Higham, founder and CEO of The Well Communities, was ‘over the moon’ that the plans could go ahead.
He said: “The Stevenson Trust has bought it and leased it to us on a long-term lease.
“It will be an abstinence-based house, so users of substances won’t be using it.
“This facility will be a route out of addiction and crime and will be staffed 24/7 by staff and volunteers.
“People can now break free from addiction and crime and alcoholism.
“We have only just signed the lease and got the keys yesterday.
“We are doing the risk assessments now and working with the council regarding housing benefits ahead of opening our doors May.
“I am very excited and over the moon about this.
“People in Kendal have not had the opportunity locally to get help and they have had to go to Barrow, but they only got in there if spaces were available as Barrow folks got first placements.
“Kendal folks will get first place in the queue now here in Kendal.”
The planning committee placed a number of conditions on the application, including that the building be permanently staffed on a 24-hour basis, seven days a week.