Pictured: Iconic items for George Best-themed Belfast hotel
Pictures and plans for the new and much anticipated George Best Hotel in Belfast have been unveiled.
The Scottish Mutual building, which was purchased by Liverpool developer, Lawrence Kenwright's Signature Living Group, will have around 80 bedrooms.
With development currently underway, family and friends of football legend George Best have presented Signature Living, the developers of his namesake hotel, with iconic items of memorabilia.
The presentation took place at a launch event at the former Scottish Mutual building which was attended by the Best family and the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Nuala McAllister.
Items that were given by Best's family, who fully back the project, included a signed shirt from the day of his funeral, replica European Cups, as well as a silver Northern Ireland cap.
This is a start of the collection the George Best hotel will collate. Includes signed jersey and cups pic.twitter.com/MlILh9Ic2R— John Mulgrew (@newsmulg) September 5, 2017
Lawrence Kenwright, Founder and Chairman of Signature Living commented: "This is truly an exciting day for us as we receive these pieces of memorabilia that will form the beginning of a George Best collection at the hotel.
"This marks the next step in our journey to bring George and his genius to life within the hotel. At Signature Living, we’re passionate about creating and sharing stories and this is a fabulous way to showcase Belfast’s most famous son. It will be a visual experience that will reflect his footballing prowess and the hero he was to so many people in Northern Ireland, Great Britain and further afield."
Barbara McNarry, Mr Best's sister said that the family are "delighted that George's life and career are being honoured in such a stunning building."
She said: "The recognition of Georgie in the city centre has a very important meaning to us and fills us with enormous pride. We have every faith in Signature Living’s ability to bring George’s story to life within the hotel."
Councillor Nuala McAllister, Lord Mayor of Belfast, said: "This is an exciting development in the city centre not just for the residents of Belfast who remember George Best with pride and affection, but for fans and visitors from across the world who also admired his outstanding football skills."
Speaking about his plans for the hotel earlier on in the year, Mr Kenwright said : "It’s about unearthing those stories…not so much the main life stories that everyone knows. This is about the stories you don’t know about. Every room and guest space within the hotel will reflect the genius of the man this city and fans around the world love so much."
"We’re excited about the next 12 months as we continue to plan, prepare and deliver this new icon of Belfast. We feel we could have the doors open by June 2018."
Belfast Telegraph Digital