Lawrence Kenwright, owner of Signature Living, has confirmed that the transformation project of Preston’s former Post Office into a new luxury hotel is ‘progressing well, despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The Grade-II listed building has been undergoing a £15m redevelopment since being acquired by Signature Living in 2018, and despite a handful of delays, The Shankly Hotel Preston is slated to open this summer.
Signature Living bought the 118-year-old building from Preston City Council and is converting it into a 65-bedroom hotel with bar, restaurant and weddings and events suite, that pay homage to former footballer Bill Shankly.
Delays in 2019 caused by the uncertainty around Brexit and additional issues relating to asbestos found within the building were followed by a temporary cessation of work in 2020 because of the impact of the pandemic.
Activity resumed on site in June 2020 and now the building’s new roof extension has been completed with interior works continuing at pace with several bedrooms nearing completion.
Once open, the hotel will be the sister property to The Shankly in Liverpool, which was recently the subject of a four-part BBC documentary series, The Grand Party Hotel.
The Preston Hotel will also boast multi-occupancy rooms, like it’s Liverpool sister, including the largest bedroom in the Signature Living portfolio called Elysium, which will be able to sleep more than 20 and host up to 160 ‘to party’ over two floor levels.
Lawrence Kenwright said: “Despite the similarities in name and theme, The Shankly Hotel in Preston will have its own unique look and feel from that which we have created in Liverpool.
“We will also have a 7,000 sq ft rooftop bar and restaurant which will give unencumbered views over the city. This hotel will stand apart from all others and will certainly give all of our guests a unique experience, especially with the Elysium room.
“We are very excited about this project which represents the next evolution of our brand and we believe that it will help to supercharge Preston’s night-time offer and aid its destination status.”
He added: “I am so pleased with the progress of the renovation, because not only is this is a very challenging project, but also to complete the roof extension as we’ve done at this difficult and uncertain time is a reflection of our commitment to our plans and the city.”
The project is a collaboration between Bill Shankly’s family and Signature Living to highlight and commemorate the footballer’s playing career at Deepdale. The Bill Shankly museum will be curated by Chris Carline, Shankly’s grandson, director of the Liverpool site.
The group recently opened Rainhill Hall in St Helens to end the pandemic-hit 2020 on a high.