Transformation under way at historic Londesborough Lodge

Londesborough Lodge continues to be rejuvenated . Ani Tselha with her work and building volunteers. Back Aaron Wrightson ,Chris Backhouse,Giulio Ceravolo,Will Duffield,David Muldowney , Paul Brazier. Pic Richard Ponter 154816b

Londesborough Lodge continues to be rejuvenated . Ani Tselha with her work and building volunteers. Back Aaron Wrightson ,Chris Backhouse,Giulio Ceravolo,Will Duffield,David Muldowney , Paul Brazier. Pic Richard Ponter 154816b

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A project to transform Londesborough Lodge into a wellbeing centre is moving forward - with work expected to be complete in 18 months.

Work on bringing the derelict listed building in The Crescent back to life started in October last year.

It is being carried out by Kagyu Samye Dzong, a Buddhist charity, after they were successful is securing the premises on a long lease from Scarborough Council under the community asset transfer scheme.

The ground floor is now almost finished and classes in yoga, pilates and meditation are already taking place.

Ani Tselha, from the charity, is encouraging people to start making use of the building and its facilities, which are being created for all of the community - not just Buddhists.

She explained: “We’re trying to break the idea that it’s ‘that Buddhist place’. We’re here for everyone. A lot of people, young and old, are having to deal with stress and mental health issues.

“This is somewhere people can come and spend time in peaceful surroundings.”

The building, when complete, will feature residents’ rooms, a yoga studio, meditation rooms, therapy rooms, a health food cafe and kitchen.

The restoration is set to cost around £500,000, with £110,000 already having been spent on the roof, £18,500 on rebuilding three chimneys and £80,000 on asbestos removal.

With the external work now finished, much of the interior renovations are being carried out by volunteers.

Ani said: “We’re a charity - we’re not rich. Every centre is responsible for making its own money. The volunteers are amazing, The team works really hard.”

The project has taken on both local youngsters and volunteers from abroad, who are learning new skills as well as learning English.

The site manager, Paul Brazier, is also a volunteer, taking time away from his drainage business to give something back to the community.

• Go to www.yorkshire.samye.org for a full programme of events starting in the new year.