Shankly Hotel: New investment group enter the scene to get luxury £15m Preston hotel over the line
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The vision to turn the former Post Office building in Birley Street into a swanky £15m hotel and wedding venue named after one of PNE’s greatest players has been ongoing since 2016, when Preston Council sold the Grade-II listed site to Liverpool-based Signature Living.
But things came to a holt last year when the company hit financial problems and Manchester-based Kroll Advisory began the administration process.
So, what’s new?
This week, planning permission from 2016 has been resubmitted by a company called Blackfinch Investments Ltd, triggering hope that a new owner has been found and the work will finally be completed.
This is the name of the new Indian restaurant taking over the Bangla Fusion site
Blackfinch has asked to change the description from 'Change of use and extension of former Post Office to create 66no. bedroom hotel with associated restaurant/bar, wedding and function space and spa at the Old Post Office, Birley Street, Preston' to 'Change of use and extension of former Post Office to create a hotel with associated restaurant/bar, wedding and function space and spa at the Old Post Office, Birley Street, Preston’.
The main difference is that the number of hotel rooms is not specified, though is believed to be reducing to 60.
In the application form, the agent for Blackfinch Investments explained: “During the construction stage, the building has varied slightly from the planning drawings. This means that the building would now need to be regularised through a S73 application.”
Where is work at?
Work transforming the building started in 2017, but there were a series of delays in 2019, caused by the uncertainty around Brexit and additional issues relating to asbestos found within the building.
These delays were followed by a temporary cessation of work in 2020 because of the impact of the pandemic, but activity resumed on site in June 2020 and by 2021, the building’s new roof extension had been completed.
Who are Blackfinch Investments Ltd?
According to their website, the Gloucester-based company are “investment specialists covering tax-efficient solutions, early-stage investing, managed portfolio services and property financing.”
When approached by the Post, the Blackfinch Group said: “Unfortunately, we don’t have an update on this site at this time.”