Signature Living has delayed the opening of the George Best hotel in Belfast due to “unforeseen building works”.
Employees taken on ahead of the opening, originally planned for June 2018, have been offered opportunities at other Signature Living hotels or are being “compensated accordingly”, the group has said.
In a lengthy statement issued today (Wednesday) the company said: “The opening of the George Best Hotel Belfast has been delayed due to unforeseen building works in the restoration process with building regulations and protocols taking longer than had been originally expected.
“As with many listed buildings that we have developed, it is often the case that the restoration process can be a complex one which has to be monitored and adapted through each stage of the development.
“We are working pro-actively with Belfast City Council and its various departments to ensure that all planning issues and regulations are addressed.”
In November last year Belfast City Council confirmed that it was undertaking a live enforcement investigation into “unauthorised” work at the 63-bedroom hotel named after late Northern Ireland footballer George Best.
Signature Living said it remained “fully committed” to opening in Belfast and making the hotel a destination that the people of Northern Ireland and football fans “can be truly proud of”.
Yesterday Signature Living was granted planning permission to transform the Cavern Walks shopping precinct in Liverpool into a new hotel, restaurant and retail complex, following a lively meeting of Liverpool City Council.
The Liverpool Echo reported that the council’s Liberal Democrat leader Richard Kemp questioned plans for the hotel’s white and gold interiors only for chairman Lawrence Kenwright to tweet: “IT MAKES MY BLOOD BOIL when you have the Lib Dem local leader, @cllrkemp stating that our hotels are cheap in a planning meeting when we are about to create 300 jobs in a building that has been 85% empty for years!”