Belfast Telegraph

George Best Hotel opening pushed back

The new hotel at the Scottish Mutual Building
The new hotel at the Scottish Mutual Building

By Staff Reporter

The opening of the George Best Hotel in Belfast city centre - which was expected in December - has gone into extra time.

The delay until 2019 is due to an issue with obtaining a licence, according to Liverpool-based developer Signature Living.

The company said Christmas parties that had been booked at the hotel would be honoured - but in the Waterfront Hall.

The company said it had been "continually" faced with objections from a nearby business to it obtaining a licence.

Signature Living chairman Lawrence Kenwright said last night: "Having discussed the issues relating to the additional objections, we have reluctantly taken the decision to delay the hotel opening.

"Conscious of our commitment to bookings for Christmas parties and guest rooms, we have put measures in place to ensure these will be honoured.

"Additionally refunds are being offered, and our team will facilitate, where possible, bookings elsewhere. Our customers are and will always be our priority.

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"It is very unfortunate and extremely frustrating that these objections have caused us to delay our opening.

"We look forward to welcoming out first guests in early 2019."

The £15m hotel is being developed at the listed Scottish Mutual Building, next to Belfast City Hall. Signature Living also plans to convert the old Crumlin Road Courthouse into a 77-bed hotel.

Belfast Telegraph