The new £15M George Best Hotel in Belfast, due to open in November, has confirmed it will erect a life-size statue of George Best.
As a permanent tribute and memorial to the football star, the statue will be erected on the rooftop of the hotel with the footballer overlooking Donegal Square.
The £15m project is a joint venture between Lawrence and Katie Kenwright’s Liverpool-based Signature Living Hotel Group and the family of George Best, including his sister Barbara McNarry.
The development of the listed former Scottish & Mutual building will be the first of four hotels and part of an £80m investment into the city of Belfast by Signature Living.
This investment includes the £25m re-development of the historic Crumlin Road Court House to create the 150-bedroom Lanyon Hotel.
Chairman, Lawrence Kenwright, said: “I cannot think of a more fitting tribute than to have a statue of this iconic footballer erected on the rooftop of this magnificent building.”
Signature Living has also confirmed its first two key appointments to the new George Best Hotel, Belfast born Damian Gilvary as General Manager and Gareth Milligan as head of sales.
Gilvary is an experienced hotelier and operator having previously worked for the Hilton Group of hotels in Belfast and Manchester.
Commenting on his appointment, Gilvary said: “It’s a huge honour to be working with such visionary hoteliers as Lawrence and Katie Kenwright given the huge success of their Signature Living Group hotels and brand. It’s also a privilege to be appointed as the new GM for the George Best hotel, which carries an enormous responsibility and expectation.”
The George Best hotel will be the fourth football themed hotel within the group which includes the Shankly Hotel Liverpool, the £12m development of the Dixie Dean Hotel and the £15m development of the Shankly Hotel in Preston.