Leading luxury hotel brand Pullman is on-board for Exhibition Centre Liverpool, with the announcement that an upscale four star hotel will be at the heart of the stunning new venue.
Pullman has hotels all over the world, including all the major European cities, but only one in the UK, in St Pancras, London. The Pullman brand is owned by international hotel company Accor.
While Pullman is selected as the hotel brand, Branded Hotel Management (BHM) has also been appointed as the preferred operator for the200 room ‘headquarters’ hotel integrated into the £40 million exhibition centre at the Kings Dock.
Liverpool City Council and its partners can now drive forward with the design and construction of the£26 million hotel, with up to 10,500 square metres of floor space and seven storeys of rooms, above a ground floor reception, lobby, restaurant, bar, meeting rooms and gym.
A full planning application for the exhibition centre –which will form part of ACC Liverpool, home to BT Convention Centre and Echo Arena-and an outline application for the hotel, was submitted in February with a detailed application submitted on Monday (April 22). If planning permission is granted, construction of the new facilities will commence in autumn 2013, opening for business in spring 2015.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “Attracting Pullman to Liverpool is a major coup for our city and another massive step forward in the delivery of our world-class exhibition centre.
“We wanted to make sure we were able to bring in a high quality hotel brand and an experienced operator to match our ambitions for the exhibition centre, and we’re confident that BHM with Pullman/Accor is the right appointment to enhance the venue’s profile to national and international visitors, as well as increasing the diversity of Liverpool’s hotel offer.
“Exhibition Centre Liverpool is one of my major priorities as Mayor. It will build on the huge success of ACC Liverpool and help put us in the premier league in terms of hosting international exhibitions. It will also boost our economy by £40 million a year.
“All of the pieces are now falling into place for this fantastic facility. With the hotel operator now recruited and the planning application in, we can look forward to things moving forward quickly.”
The selection of Pullman and BHM is another big step forward for the scheme, following the appointment of international construction company ISG – responsible for the construction of the 6,000 seat London 2012 Velodrome – and Denton Corker Marshall, who designed the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, as architect. ISG has been appointed to construct the hotel as well as the exhibition centre.
Bob Prattey, chief executive of ACC Liverpool, home to BT Convention Centre and Echo Arena, said: ”This is another significant step in enhancing ACC Liverpool’s offering to all of our client groups. It is a real vote of confidence that Pullman and BHM have chosen Liverpool for their first new build hotel to carry the Pullman quality brand. The hotel development will strengthen and complement our existing hotel offering both on site and across the city to offer a complete range of star rated accommodation.
“The introduction of the 4-star headquarter hotel will undoubtedly open new markets for ACC Liverpool.”
Andrew Rouse, commercial director of BHM, said: “We are delighted to be working with Liverpool City Council and Accor to operate the first new build Pullman hotel in the UK. We are excited to be involved in such a major development in Liverpool which will also bring significant employment benefits to the city.”
Liverpool City Council is working with the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) – the current site owners of Kings Dock – on an agreement to release the seven acres of land adjacent to the existing arena and convention centre, to facilitate the development.
Funding for the facility is being raised through borrowing supported directly from the revenue generated by the expanded ACC Liverpool, so that the project will be at no cost to tax-payers. It will be wholly owned by Liverpool City Council and the exhibition centre will be managed and operated by the existing ACC Liverpool team.