Signature Living reduces bedroom capacity at new George Best Hotel in Belfast

The new £15m George Best Hotel in Belfast will have a smaller bedroom footprint than originally planned when it opens this year.

Signature Living, spearheaded by Lawrence Kenwright, submitted an amended planning application to councillors just before Christmas, taking the bedroom count down to 63, from the original 80.

The Liverpool developer is currently transforming the Scottish Mutual building, opposite Belfast City Hall into the new boutique after acquiring the property for £6m early last year.

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Now in the latest planning submission, an accompanying design and access statement says that “generally the layout will remain as per previous planning approvals”, but the developer has since elected to swap the use of the first and fifth floors.

The first floor will now be used for hotel bedrooms, while the fifth floor will contain a large function room, which will cater for events such as weddings.

According to the statement the developer believes that the fifth floor is “far better suited to this function, making use of the high ceilings.”

Since Kenwright acquired the building, he has been working with the Best family on the new venue which will be dedicated to the late football star.

In June family and friends of the football legend, including his sister Barbara (McNarry), presented Signature Living with iconic items of memorabilia to start a unique collection at the new hotel.

The George Best Hotel, which is set to open in June, could be one of seven new hotels planned for Northern Ireland in the pipeline for Signature Living.

The company is also undertaking the £25m redevelopment of the Crumlin Road Court House to create the 150-bed Lanyon Hotel, due to open in October, while the War Memorial Building on Waring Street will be the location for the third of at least four hotels in the city.

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