A grandson of the late William ‘Bill’ Shankly OBE has partnered with hotelier couple Lawrence and Katie Kenwright to open a football-themed hotel in Liverpool.
Lawrence Kenwright, who founded hotel apartment company Signature Living with his wife Katie, told Boutique Hotelier that he expected a deal to purchase the building to be signed by the end of the week, but could not disclose its exact location.
Once signed, Kenwright and Shankly’s grandson hope to convert the 40,000 sq ft property into a 400-bedroom hotel themed around the late Scottish footballer and Liverpool manager who is widely regarded as one of the game’s greatest managers.
“When Liverpool play at home the city’s awash with Norwegians and all kinds of people from all over the world,” said Kenwright. “So the idea is for him to be there, meeting and greeting the guests, we’ll bring in the footballers of yesteryear, talk about the stories of Bill Shankly, the stories of Liverpool, all the nostalgic things that all supporters love to talk about, that’s what we’re working on.”
Expected to open late 2014, Kenwright said the £10m investment would offer fans a football-themed- and affordable stay in the city.
“As a football supporter, if you have one option to go to Travelodge and another to go to a Bill Shankly hotel with all the memorabilia, his grandson and with some of the old footballers in there — why wouldn’t you go there? It will be the same price as Travelodge, no dearer,” added Kenwright.
Signature Living currently operates four ‘aparthotels’ in the city targeted at groups, and made headlines last month when it closed a £7m deal to purchase Albion House, the former headquarters of White Star Line — owner of RMS Titanic — and convert it into a Titanic-themed hotel due to open in April 2014.
“Signature Living Hotel – The Home of the Titanic will open next, then a Bill Shankly hotel. Liverpool’s known for its football, its tourism with the museums, and it’s very quickly getting known for its nightlife. We’ve covered nightlife with our ‘party hotels’, tourism will be covered by the Titanic hotel and football will be covered by the Bill Shankly hotel,” said Kenwright.