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by administrator @, Thursday, March 07, 2013, 16:57

Curo, based in Bath, opened its first holiday let this week - a one-bedroom flat in Sydney Place - which comes fully furnished with a television and DVD player, wi-fi, iPod docking station, a fitted kitchen, private garden and its own parking space.

The flat is available for a week's rental for between £550 and £700, or for a three-night stay for between £360 and £450.

Curo chief executive, Victor da Cunha, said the conversion was about making the most of properties, which were no longer suitable for social housing. He told the Bath Chronicle that the flat's heating costs made it impractical for tenants on low incomes.

Mr da Cunha told the newspaper: "Bath's status as a top city break destination has enabled Curo to explore whether, by using a small number of our properties as holiday lets - properties otherwise earmarked for disposal - we can generate income to re-invest in building much-needed, modern and affordable homes for local people.

"If this project is successful it will mean we can avoid selling properties which would otherwise not be viable for Curo to retain."

The flat has already had its first guests and has received a four-star Gold Standard by Quality in Tourism, the assessment service for Visit England.

Mr da Cunha said Curo had plans to convert five of its properties into holiday lets over the next two years, and added that they could be used to help train people wanting to pursue a future in tourism through a partnership with City of Bath College.

He said: "Because we are a charity with a wider social purpose, this project is also about generating opportunities and training for local people."

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