One of Preston’s most iconic buildings has been sold to a boutique hotel operator.Advertisement
The firm behind the Shankly hotel in Liverpool won the tender to develop the Old Post Office building in Preston city centre.
Standing empty for the last six years the grade-II listed building is to be redeveloped in a multi-million pound project.
The Old Post Office is due to have a ‘theme’ although the Signature group has not decided what it will be yet.
Read more: What to expect when Signature refurb the Old Post Office
Preston City Council leader councillor Peter Rankin said: “I am absolutely delighted. The former Post Office is a unique and much loved building right in the heart of Preston City Centre. It’s special and we’ve worked hard to ensure the best possible development for such an important building.
“Signature Living immediately impressed us with their love of the building as well as their commitment to Preston. They clearly see the huge potential of the city and are keen to invest and develop here. What they’ve done in Liverpool with the Shankly Hotel and 30 James Street is a taste of what we can expect here in Preston. The hotels are hugely popular and are consistently highly rated on Trip Advisor.
“Indeed, given Bill Shankly’s connections between Preston and Liverpool it is perhaps fitting that Signature Living should be taking on the building for future generations to enjoy.
The building has been bought for an undisclosed sum, and it is not known whether these funds will go direct to to the city council due to the council buying the building using money from the former North West Regional Development Agency.
Related: Why storm clouds remain over Preston Council’s financial situation
Founder of Signature Living Lawrence Kenright said: “We are incredibly excited to be working in Preston and delivering a luxury boutique hotel in the historic former Post Office building.
“Signature Living has a track record of developing high quality hotel accommodations and event venues and this will be no exception. Not only are we bringing much needed investment into the city centre; we will also be creating jobs for local people.
A study in 2013 said Preston needed more city centre hotels, saying the city was regularly fully booked and struggling to cope with demand.
Chair of the Preston and South Ribble City Deal Jim Carter said: “This investment into Preston is yet more evidence of a growing confidence in the city centre.
“Major developments are coming forward, many of which include substantial investment from the private sector. These plans that will transform the city centre, boost our economy and provide new job opportunities for local people.
“We’re working hard through our £434m City Deal to expand the transport infrastructure, bring new jobs and new homes to Preston and South Ribble. It’s important that we make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to benefit the people who live and work here.”
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