Preston’s new Shankly Hotel is just weeks away from opening the door to its first guests.
The £15m transformation of the city’s former Post Office building (inset) is expected to greet customers in April.
But it will be only a partial opening involving just some of the 65 rooms in the luxurious boutique hotel, named after football great Bill Shankley, a former Preston North End player and manager of Liverpool FC.
The whole building is set to be completed and fully operational in June.
In addition to the 65 rooms, owners Signature Living are including a spa, a roof terrace and state of the art facilities for dining and functions.
The Grade II Listed building, which faces the city’s War Memorial and Flag Market, was opened as Preston’s Central Post Office in 1903.
It was controversially shut down in 2002 and its services were transferred to Theatre Street, off Fishergate.
Preston City Council acquired the building in 2005 andthere were plans for a library and knowledge centre and then a media hub, but all failed to get off the ground due to funding issues.
Signature Living, in partnership with Bill Shankly’s grandson Chris Carline, agreed to buy the historic property in 2016 with the intention of turning it into their second football-themes Shankly Hotel, similar to one in Liverpool.
The Preston hotel will house an exhibition of football memorabilia from the families of both Bill Shankly and Sir Tom Finney as a lasting tribute to two giants of the game who played together for PNE for three years.