George Best Hotel goes into administration
The George Best Hotel in Belfast has gone into administration without ever opening its doors.
The project, being developed by the Liverpool-based Signature Living group, had been beset by problems before the current economic crisis.
A number of its other projects have been placed into administration in recent weeks.
Signature, led by Lawrence Kenwright, arrived in Belfast in 2017 promising to develop five hotels.
The George Best Hotel in the city centre was the only project which saw significant work.
However, it faced a series of delays and its opening date was continually pushed back.
In September last year, Signature indicated it was scaling back its Belfast plans when it put two other properties up for sale.
The George Best project continued but was under mounting financial pressure.
Investors who had bought individual rooms in the hotel had difficulty getting their promised returns.'Exploring all options'
Matthew Ingram and Michael Lennon of Duff & Phelps have been appointed as joint administrators.
They said: "The renovation of the hotel is in the latter stages of completion and is due to be launched later this year.
“We recognise the value of the George Best Hotel as a finished development and trading hotel.
“In so far as it is possible, advance bookings and reservations remain unaffected.
"We will be exploring all options with the current funders to maximise value and ultimately the return to creditors.
"We are aware that there are a number of bedroom investors that have paid deposits, we will be contacting all investors at the earliest opportunity to confirm our appointment and gather further information."