A major council building in the heart of Liverpool city centre is set to be transformed into a Bill Shankly-themed aparthotel.
The Council’s Cabinet will be asked to approve plans, on Friday 4th April, for the city council to dispose of Millennium House to Signature Living Hotel Ltd.
It follows the completion of the city council’s acquisition this week of the Cunard building, part of a cost-saving scheme which will see the council relocating hundreds of staff to the Grade II* waterfront site and disposing of its interest in Millennium House, and the 10th floor of The Capital building on Old Hall Street.
If given the go-ahead, Signature Living Hotel Ltd (SL), will submit a planning application to convert Millennium House into a 250-capacity Bill Shankly-themed Aparthotel.
A unique, ‘Bill Shankly museum’, within the hotel, will feature a range of never-before-seen items, which tell the story of the revered Liverpool FC manager, and which have been held for many years by his family.
The £15 million development will also include 17,500 sq ft of upgraded office space – which will house Signature Living’s head office, as well as providing space for local start-up companies, as part of a young, creative professional hub.
And the city’s Lifestyles Gym which operates from the building will be expanded and transformed into a flagship 21st century facility – with new, state-of-the-art equipment – and leased back by the Council, who will continue to operate it as part of the on-going leisure provision in the city.
It is estimated that the scheme will create over 60 jobs during the construction period, and a further 100 jobs once the conversion is complete and the building fully occupied.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “The relocation of our staff to the Cunard building will generate millions in savings and income for the city council. But it’s really important, once our staff leave Millennium House, that the long-term vibrancy of the building – and importantly, Victoria Street – is protected. I believe this project will deliver that.”
Bill Shankly’s grandson, Chris Carline, who is collaborating with Signature Living on the project, said: “I’ve been working on this idea for many years now, meeting different people and seeking different advice about how I could make this happen. As a huge Liverpool fan and born and bred Liverpudlian, who’s travelled everywhere with the club, I’ve always known what a fantastic amenity this could be for the City.”
If granted Cabinet approval, Signature Living intends to submit a planning application for the whole project in April.
Construction of the aparthotel and office conversion would begin in early 2015 with the scheme due to complete by March 2016.
The gym expansion would be carried out first, and completed by summer of this year. The existing gym will continue to run while the work takes place, keeping disruption to existing gym users to a minimum.
Lawrence Kenwright, Director at Signature Living Hotel Ltd, said: “Whatever one’s football allegiance, Bill Shankly remains a legend of the sport. He brought the glory days back to Liverpool FC, and we intend to do the same at this landmark city centre building,”