Belfast city centre set for George Best hotel

Belfast City Council CEO Suzanne Wylie, centre, with developer Lawrence Kenwright, left, and Jackie Henry, senior partner, Deloitte NI
Belfast City Council CEO Suzanne Wylie, centre, with developer Lawrence Kenwright, left, and Jackie Henry, senior partner, Deloitte NI
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At least two new hotels - including a George Best themed hotel – are set to be developed in Belfast this year by luxury hotel developer Signature Living as a direct result of the city’s attendance at the world’s largest property investment event last year.

The announcement came at the Waterfront Conference and Exhibition Centre as Belfast revealed that it will take its largest ever trade delegation when it returns to MIPIM in Cannes next month, with a record financial support of over £250,000 from private sector sponsors and stakeholders.

MIPIM, an annual global property investment conference that brings together the most influential players from all international property sectors, is at the centre of Belfast City Council’s ‘Go to Market’ strategy, which also includes inward and outward trade delegations to and from Nashville, Boston and China in the coming months.

Councillor Aileen Graham, chair of the City Growth and Regeneration Committee, said “There is tremendous energy in Belfast and the city has already reinvented itself. Investors, developers and employers who are familiar with the city, and its people, recognise that we are on the cusp of another phase of transformation, and that now is the time to invest in Belfast.

“Today’s announcement about two new hotels for Belfast, including a George Best themed hotel, is evidence of the value of such an approach, since conversations in relation to these projects started at MIPIM last year.”

Lawrence Kenwright, director of Signature Living said: “I was hugely impressed by what I saw of Belfast at MIPIM in 2016 – so much so, in fact, that I have visited the city seven times in the past 12 months to find out more.

“I am confident that Belfast is an excellent city in which to invest and, to that end, have committed to commencing development of two new city centre hotels in 2017 – one of which will have a strong George Best theme.

“All together we are looking to create five hotels in the city and are very close to agreeing terms for the acquisition of a landmark building in which we will develop the first.

Belfast City Council CEO Suzanne Wylie said: “Recent independent UK-wide reports by reputable organisations such as Deloitte and CBRE have shown that Belfast is on an upward trajectory and we need to build on this momentum.

“We are extremely ambitious and believe we can attract another £1 billion of real estate investment, including new offices, hotels and leisure, and retail developments.”