A leading hotel couple have partnered with the grandson of the late Bill Shankly OBE to develop a £10m football-themed hotel in Liverpool as part of a project that will no doubt have a sizeable catering aspect.
Lawrence Kenwright, who founded hotel apartment company Signature Living with his wife Katie, hope to convert a 40,000 sq ft property into a 400-bedroom hotel themed around the late Scottish footballer and Liverpool manager, who is widely regarded as one of the game’s greatest managers.
Kenwright told Catering Insight’s sister publication Boutique Hotelier that he was on the verge of signing a deal to purchase the building, but could not disclose its exact location.
“When Liverpool play at home the city’s awash with Norwegians and all kinds of people from all over the world,” said Kenwright. “So the idea is for him to be there, meeting and greeting the guests, we’ll bring in the footballers of yesteryear, talk about the stories of Bill Shankly, the stories of Liverpool, all the nostalgic things that all supporters love to talk about, that’s what we’re working on.”
Expected to open late 2014, Kenwright said the £10m investment would offer fans a football-themed and affordable stay in the city.
“As a football supporter, if you have one option to go to Travelodge and another to go to a Bill Shankly hotel with all the memorabilia, his grandson and with some of the old footballers in there — why wouldn’t you go there? It will be the same price as Travelodge, no dearer,” added Kenwright.
Signature Living currently operates four ‘aparthotels’ in the city targeted at groups, and made headlines last month when it closed a £7m deal to purchase Albion House, the former headquarters of White Star Line — owner of RMS Titanic — and convert it into a Titanic-themed hotel due to open in April 2014.