Plans for George Best-themed hotel in Belfast

By John Campbell
BBC News NI Economics & Business Editor

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The Belfast-born football star made his debut for Manchester United at the age of 17 in 1963

A Liverpool-based developer has announced a plan to build a George Best-themed hotel in Belfast.

Lawrence Kenwright says he intends to develop a total of five hotels in the city over the next few years.

Mr Kenwright owns four hotels in Liverpool, including one themed around legendary football manager Bill Shankly.

Manchester United and Northern Ireland star George Best already has an airport named after him in his native city.

He says he has agreed to buy two buildings in Belfast with the deals expected to be completed within months.

Neither of those buildings relates to the Best-themed hotel.

Image caption,
Mr Kenwright already owns this Bill Shankly-themed hotel in Liverpool

Mr Kenwright says he wants to have his first Belfast hotel open in just nine months and the other four delivered in two years.

If he can achieve that it would make him one of the biggest hoteliers in the city.

Belfast is undergoing a hotel building boom with six under construction and more with planning permission.

Mr Kenwright has arrived in Belfast with extremely ambitious plans.

If he can deliver five hotels that would put him on a par with the veteran Belfast hotelier Lord Rana.

However Lord Rana built that business over more than 20 years.

Mr Kenwright wants to get to the same level in just two years.

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