Work is well under way to transform Scarborough’s historic Londesborough Lodge into a health and wellbeing centre.
Phase One of the project began last week, with the removal of asbestos from the once-neglected building in The Crescent.
Ani Tselha, of the Rokpa Trust, said: “It’s going really well so far and removing all the asbestos should take between five and seven weeks.
“We’re having air testing carried out every day as we’ve got to make sure that everything is monitored correctly.”
She added that they have also head help from representatives from Yorkshire Coast Homes project “The Beach”, who have been removing large, metal filing cabinets from the basement.
Ani explained: “We’re looking at having the main part of the building open by the end of January. This will include the main reception, meditation room, training room and tea room.
“Other work will still need to be done on the rest of the building, but this will enable the community to start using it and getting a benefit from it.”
She added: “The building has been lying empty for so long, but we’ve got a sense of things moving along now which is wonderful.
“The council has been working with us in a very positive way and it’s great to see things starting to progress.”
Phase One of the work will also include damp treatment, full roof repairs, repairs to walls and windows, site fencing and further condition surveys.
Ani said one of the main aims is to get the building watertight and windproof for winter. She added that the work so far has provoked a positive response from others in The Crescent, saying: “People are very pleased to see that things are being done - there’s a real sense of excitement.”
Within another 12 months, work will be carried out on the residents’ accommodation and the last phase will feature a yoga and pilates room, a downstairs training area and cafe.
The Rokpa Trust is a charity and all proceeds go back into the project.