De­vel­oper to open Ge­orge Best Ho­tel for one day

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - Front Page - BY RYAN MCALEER

THE pub­lic will be given a chance to see in­side the £15m Ge­orge Best Ho­tel this week as the de­vel­oper be­hind the stalled project upped his crit­i­cism of Belfast City Coun­cil.

In a let­ter to City Hall chief Suzanne Wylie and Lord Mayor Deirdre Hargey ear­lier this month, Lawrence Ken­wright threat­ened to with­hold £40m of in­vest­ment in the city.

He claimed his com­pany Sig­na­ture Liv­ing’s bid to open three new ho­tels in listed Belfast build­ings had “turned into a liv­ing night­mare”.

Now the Liver­pool de­vel­oper has said he will open the Ge­orge Best Ho­tel for one day to the pub­lic at 1pm on Thurs­day for a preview of the work com­pleted to date.

The ho­tel, which has the sup­port of Best’s sis­ter and brother-in-law Bar­bara and Nor­man Mc­narry, was due to open ear­lier this month.

Mr Ken­wright has made new claims about the coun­cil’s han­dling of the project.

The coun­cil has de­clined to com­ment, but it’s un­der­stood it is tak­ing le­gal ad­vice on the ac­cu­sa­tions.

Mr Ken­wright said: “We are an or­gan­i­sa­tion which has sharp­ened its tools on res­ur­rect­ing sites such as this and our suc­cesses are nu­mer­ous and speak for them­selves, hav­ing suc­cess­fully de­liv­ered pres­ti­gious ho­tel and res­i­den­tial schemes all over the Bri­tish main­land.

“We sim­ply want to be al­lowed to get on with bring­ing our ex­cit­ing of­fer to Belfast.”

Sig­na­ture Liv­ing’s other projects in Belfast are a 77-room ho­tel in the for­mer Crum­lin Road Court­house and a 43-room ho­tel on War­ing Street.

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