Work to replace a run-down YMCA with a brand-new hostel for young Londoners has begun thanks in part to funding from The London Marathon Charitable Trust (The Trust).

The dilapidated old Errol Street Hostel, in Errol Street, Islington, which had been open for the past 32 years, has now been demolished to make way for the new City YMCA that will ensure future generations of young people will continue to benefit from its services.

The whole project has cost £19 million, with The Trust contributing £250,000 which will be put towards a new fitness centre in the hostel.

Gillian Bowen, Chief Executive at City YMCA London, said: “We looked at this with our heart and said we must try to offer young homeless Londoners what they deserve – an opportunity to excel.

“Our belief that this building will garner new life for young lives commences now. And so we look forward to the next stage of the journey, when the new building starts to take shape.”

Thirty years of wear and tear by more than 10,000 homeless young Londoners meant the old Errol Street hostel was deemed unfit for purpose.

The Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, the Very Rev Dr David Ison led a group of about 40 people in an act of dedication for the land that would site the new building prior to the start of the destruction of the old Errol Street Hostel.

Sarah Ridley, Chief Grants Officer of London Marathon Charitable Trust, said: “The London Marathon Charitable Trust is delighted to play a part in this fantastic project which, in addition to ensuring that thousands of young Londoners will continue to benefit from the excellent work done by the YMCA, will provide a space for residents and locals to take part in fitness activities which will reap physical and mental health benefits for years to come.

“This project highlights The Trust’s commitment to supporting projects that demonstrate how new or improved facilities will engage and support physically inactive people and under-represented groups to be more active and healthy.”

The London Marathon Charitable Trust was created in 1981 by Chris Brasher and John Disley, the founders of the London Marathon, to meet one of their founding aims to raise money for sport and recreational facilities. Their vision ensured that the profits from the London Marathon would go to The London Marathon Charitable Trust in perpetuity.

The Trust currently primarily provides grants towards capital projects that inspire people to lead a more active lifestyle and increase the number of people regularly taking part in sports and physical activities.

The Trust accepts applications from projects in all areas where London Marathon Events Limited organises mass participation events: the 32 London boroughs and the City of London, Surrey, South Northamptonshire District Council area and Aylesbury Vale District Council area.