The George Best Hotel in Belfast falls into administration before it even got the chance to open its doors!
Liverpool-based Signature Living group, who were developing and leading this project, were hit with numerous problems, even before the current economic crisis brought from the unexpected coronavirus pandemic.
Signature, led by Lawrence Kenwright, arrived in Belfast in 2017, with the promise to develop five hotels; The George Best Hotel in the city centre being the only one needing significant work. it faced many delays and its opening date was pushed back and back.
A number of Signature’ projects have been placed into administration recently as the group decided to scale back its Belfast plans. The George Best project was not scaled back, but it did continue on thin grounds, under mounting financial pressure. Investors who had bought individual rooms in the hotel struggled to receive their promised returns.
Due to this, Matthew Ingram and Michael Lennon of Duff & Phelps have been appointed as joint administrators.
‘’The renovation of the hotel is in the latter stages of completion and is due to be launched later this year. We recognise the value of the George best Hotel as a finished development and trading hotel.’’
As is at the moment, advance bookings and reservations remain unaffected.
The administrators will be exploring options with the current funders to maximise value and the return to creditors. On the subject of the bedroom investors, they state all will be contacted at the earliest opportunity to confirm their appointment and collect further information.