New Belfast hotels to include city’s first George Best-themed establishment

Developer says ‘bespoke accommodation experience’ could create up to 500 jobs

Lawrence Kenwright of Signature Living: “It is clear to me that Belfast is at an exciting stage in its development.” Photograph: © Matt Mackey/Press Eye

Lawrence Kenwright of Signature Living: “It is clear to me that Belfast is at an exciting stage in its development.” Photograph: © Matt Mackey/Press Eye

 

A Liverpool hotel developer is planning to open two new hotels in Belfast this year, including the city’s first George Best-themed establishment, in an investment boost that it says will expand the city’s tourism offering and could ultimately create up to 500 jobs.

Signature Living operates hotels and serviced apartments in Liverpool including the £20 million Shankly Hotel which is a tribute to legendary Liverpool football manager Bill Shankly.

The group also specialises in providing a “bespoke accommodation experience” within the city including what it describes the “most risque Liverpool party accommodation” – its Signature Living’s Burlesque party floor at its city centre hotel.

Lawrence Kenwright, director of Signature Living, said his initial interest in Belfast was sparked after attending the MIPIM property investment conference in France last year, where 25 private and public sector organisations led by Belfast City Council hosted a trade mission.

‘Impressed’

Mr Kenwright said: “I was hugely impressed by what I saw of Belfast at MIPIM in 2016 – so much so, in fact, that I have visited the city seven times in the past 12 months to find out more.

“It is clear to me that Belfast is at an exciting stage in its development, with so much happening around the city. Most importantly, it is looking outward and forward and, as a result, I believe the city will really continue to flourish in the coming years.”

Belfast City Council’s chief executive Suzanne Wylie said the council is planning to return to MIPIM in Cannes next month, with financial support totalling £250,000 from private sector sponsors and stakeholders to promote the city.

Ms Wylie said: “Recent independent UK-wide reports by reputable organisations such as Deloitte and CBRE have shown that Belfast is on an upward trajectory and we need to build on this momentum.