Belfast Telegraph

Belfast George Best Hotel's goal to open next year

By Staff Reporter

The company behind plans for The George Best Hotel has said it still plans to open early next year.

Signature Living Hotel Group was responding after it emerged that the City Council has opened an enforcement investigation in relation to the £15m project at the B1 listed building.

Officials launched the move after architects from the Department for Communities' Historic Environment Division (HED) raised concerns over "unauthorised works" at the landmark Scottish Mutual Building.

After a site visit, they claimed that the works which were taking place "fail to be informed by a conservation-led approach".

The hotel, a joint venture between Signature Living - whose chairman is hotelier Lawrence Kenwright - and the family of George Best, originally aimed to open this month, but this was delayed.

A spokesperson for Signature Living Group said: "We are working proactively with the HED/BCC in relation to the progress of the redevelopment of the The George Best Hotel, including a meeting this afternoon (Thursday) with all parties concerned.

"Information in relation to the queries raised is now with all necessary parties to address.

"We are continuing to work with them to obtain the necessary consents."

The spokesperson said that the live enforcement investigation related to a complaint made by a neighbouring business, saying this was "due process"

He added: "Lawrence reiterated once again, he and his Belfast team look forward to welcoming their first guests in early 2019."

Belfast Telegraph

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