Belfast is a city of great intrigue.
From its conflicting past to the rise of the city as a top tourist destination, Belfast has a lot to discover and celebrate for both visitors and locals alike.
Belfast is on the verge of a tourism surge, with the city quickly becoming a popular destination for those seeking a weekend away, without travelling too far from home. The local council have plans to double the number of overnight business and leisure stays from 260,000 to 690,000 within three years. This increase in overnight stays would subsequently increase the number of visitors to the city by 400,000 yet there simply isn’t the bed space to accommodate such numbers.
It was recently reported that Liverpool-based developer, Signature Living have plans to open up to five Belfast Hotels.
Of the five, there have been two confirmed locations; Crumlin Road Courthouse which will become the The Crum and the Scottish Mutual Building which will become the George Best Hotel, dedicated to the legacy of the Belfast-born footballer.
Lawrence Kenwright, owner of Signature Living stated he has always had a keen interest in expanding his property empire to Belfast and was always on the lookout for the perfect building.
Belfast is a city steeped in so much history so it’s no surprise that Lawrence was on the lookout for a heritage development he could really transform and save. The group have experienced astounding success with their heritage developments including 30 James Street in Liverpool and The Exchange Hotel in Cardiff, where the building’s unique and rich history has been unearthed and displayed throughout.
In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph, Signature Living owner, Lawrence Kenwright said; “”Belfast is at the crest of a wave of what is about to come. You have to build beds because it’s coming.” In the interview, Lawrence discussed his plans for up to five hotels, with 500 additional beds which will boost the cities offering to tourists, ensuring a diverse, historic and unique alternative to the cities current hotel offering. This hotel offering also branches into wedding venues, bars & restaurants and other leisure facilities including spas and nightclubs.
These new hotels and leisure facilities will not only boost the quality of hotel offering in the city but also jobs both during development and post as well as bringing some outside investment into the city, giving the economy a boost and working with local contractors and traders.
Signature Living works very differently to other developers as it doesn’t use banks to fund its projects. Instead, it finds investment from external, individual investors who purchase a hotel room. This ensures that they can see a quicker return on their investment with generous ROI’s rates as well as an optional buy-back after just a few years. This also helps the group as it means work can begin within a quicker timeframe and there is not the risk of banks which have the potential to seriously harm the ongoing work required.
This is a wholly exciting time for both Signature Living and Belfast.With the cities exception growth, Lawrence has earmarked 18-months for the time frame in which a number of these hotels will be partially completed, meaning that by the end of 2018, Belfast’s hotel offering couple be as exciting as Liverpool’s.
Keep an eye on our latest news for further updates regarding Signature Living’s move to Belfast and our developments of The Crum.