A £50 million investment into the neo-classical Martins Bank building could see Liverpool’s first ever five star luxury hotel.
Work to convert the Grade II*-listed landmark on Water Street will get underway later this year with a potential opening before 2018.
Designed and built by Herbert James Rowese in 1932, the Martins Bank building has been purchased by hotel and conference centre provider Principal Hayley Group.
Plans for the new 227-room luxury hotel include a spa facility, a bar and a fine dining restaurant.
The development could eventually lead to the creation of 200 long-term jobs and around 350 constructions jobs over the next two years.
Joe Anderson, mayor of Liverpool says: “I’m pleased to see these new and ambitious plans for bringing another iconic Liverpool building back into use.
“It is an important landmark in the city’s business district and its conversion to a destination hotel reflects the continuing strength of the city’s visitor economy.”
During the Second World War much of the country’s gold reserve was secretly transferred to Martins Bank in an attempt to hide the resources in fear of a German invasion.
The gold arrived via three heavily guarded trains at Lime Street Station in May 1940 before being transported to the bank’s vaults. A plaque outside the building commemorates the operation.
Castlewood Securities, which has owned the Martins Bank building for 20 years, has been acquired by Principal Hayley Group Hotels in the deal. Castlewood has achieved full planning and Listed Building consent for the proposed development.
Bernard Byrne, CEO of Castlewood Securities, says: “We are delighted to see our vision of converting Martins Bank into Liverpool’s first truly luxury upscale hotel, incorporating a destination spa and amazing leisure and fine dining facilities, being realised.
Max Steinberg, chief executive of Liverpool Vision, says: “This a brilliant deal for Liverpool. Principal Hayley’s plans not only ensure the preservation of a globally important building but also add something very special to the city’s tourism offer.”
“We are delighted to welcome them to the city and we will be working with them closely in the coming years to help them create a genuinely iconic hotel in which the entire city can take pride.”