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Property developer behind Preston’s old Post Office hotel The Shankly declared bankrupt

Posted on - 6th February, 2024 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Business, Politics, Preston City Centre, Preston News, Redevelopment
Lawrence Kenwright in front of The Shankly
Lawrence Kenwright in front of The Shankly

The developer who promised to breathe new life into the former Post Office building in Preston city centre has been declared bankrupt.

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Lawrence Kenwright, who was behind the ill-fated Shankly Hotel, has formally filed for bankruptcy alongside his wife Katie Kenwright – according to the Liverpool Echo.

Kenwright, who was the director of the company Signature Living Preston Limited which entered into administration in August 2022, had been developing the grade-II listed building in Birley Street since 2016.

Read more: Preston’s historic Park Hotel to welcome guests for first time in decades

In 2021, when visiting the site, Kenwright said of The Shankly: “We are very excited about this project, which represents the next evolution of our brand and we believe that it will help to supercharge Preston’s night-time offer and aid its destination status.”

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Numerous different opening dates were given for The Shankly but the boutique hotel plan now remains mothballed while administrators – Kroll – attempt to find a buyer for the stalled project.

Kenwright also owned a number of hotels, apartment blocks and wedding venues in Liverpool.

The administrators report showed Signature Living Preston entered into administration with £22million owing to its creditors.

Delays with the development of the building were blamed on the uncertainty caused by Brexit, asbestos being uncovered and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Preston Shankly
Preston Shankly

Read more: Improvement works for Preston’s Animate complex set to begin

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In September last year it was reported how the lack of an agreed fire strategy with Preston City Council’s building control was proving a stumbling block to being able to find a buyer for the building.

The administrators also said the number of bedrooms and how these were being put in had varied from the original approved plans for the building.

Read more: See more redevelopment news in the city

Preston City Council sold the building to Mr Kenwright’s firm in 2016 – for an undisclosed sum. The city council had spent the nine years before this trying to find someone to take on the building.

The building, which stands in Birley Street and Market Street and faces onto the Flag Market and Cenotaph, dates back to 1903.

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