Landmark building set to become hotel

Share Button
The former Royal Insurance building © LeMonde1/Flickr

The former Royal Insurance Building © LeMonde1/Flickr

A dilapidated Grade II listed building may be purchased by Liverpool City Council and is set to be converted into a four-star hotel complex.

The plans to acquire the former Royal Insurance Building at the corner of Dale Street and North John Street were approved by the city council’s cabinet, in a move to regenerate the landmark to its former glory.

The Labour-controlled council now have ownership of the freehold of the building, however they require ownership of the leasehold in order for construction to go ahead.

The purchase agreement with the developers is currently undisclosed as Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson stressed that the exact terms were “commercially confidential”.

The reconstruction of the ailing building, which is famous for its golden dome, is due to start this summer. The scheme was devised by architects Falconer Hall Chester, who were also responsible for the design of the nearby Hard Day’s Night and Hotel Indigo.

Adam Hall, a spokesperson for architects Falconer Hall Chester told JMU Journalism that all of the building’s original features will be retained. He said: “As far as the listed features are concerns it will remain very much as we see it now.

“Luckily in terms of the hotel bedrooms that are being inserted, the interior features have already been lost prior to now, so there’s no interior detailing that would be affected by the insertions. The main interior spaces that are listed will also be unaffected.”

The original building was constructed between 1896 and 1903 as the head office of the Royal Insurance Company and was out of use by the late 1980s.

In 2005, the site was added to English Heritage’s ‘buildings at risk’ register and planning permission was obtained last year after the Grade II listed building was reportedly suffering from dry rot and water damage.

Mr Hall added: “English Heritage were delighted with the proposal. I’ve been working on this building for about eight years now, so it’s great that it’s at last found a use that’s going to make it viable.”

About Joshua Nevett, JMU Journalism