Fragrance Group has commenced work on the £40m refurbishment of Liverpool's Municipal Building to transform the Grade II*-listed former council office into a four-star hotel.
The two-year project will see the creation of 179 guest suites across the ground, first and second floor. The restaurant, bar and the hotel reception will feature in the ground-floor atrium, with meeting and conference facilities in the basement and ground floor.
A new-build bronze clad extension at the rear will house additional bedrooms and a new spa complex with a first-floor pool, gym and treatment rooms.
The building dates to 1868 and was home to Liverpool City Council from its completion until the authority moved out in 2017. The venue features decorative vaulted and coffered ceilings, friezes and marble fireplaces depicting reliefs of liver birds and Queen Victoria, and a basilica-like main hall.
Martin Rogers, managing director of Fragrance Group UK, said: "Together, Russell WBHO and our architects FCH have proposed an exciting and ambitious programme to bring this incredible building back to life over the next two years, as a place that can be enjoyed by everyone."
Gareth Russell, joint managing director of contractor Russell WBHO, said: "The project team has worked hard to develop a scheme which respects the magnificence and heritage of the building and will allow it be re-energised and brought back to its former glory."
Alastair Shepherd, director at architect firm Falconer Chester Hall, added: "Along with Russell WBHO, and with the support of Liverpool City Council, we have taken time to unravel the secrets of the building, getting to grips with the existing structure and uncovering hidden features. Working with the existing features and spaces will help create a unique new offer to Liverpool's hospitality scene and we're confident the rooms, spa, restaurants and bar will be a massive international draw when complete."
Singapore-based Fragrance Group's portfolio includes the Imperial hotel in Blackpool, Manchester's Townhouse hotel, the Crown in Harrogate and several properties in Devon.