Hotel for Liverpool
A major Council building in
the heart of Liverpool City centre is set to be transformed into a
Bill Shankly-themed aparthotel.
The Council's Cabinet will be asked to approve plans, on Friday 4th
April, for the City Council to dispose of Millennium House to
Signature Living Hotel Ltd.
It follows the completion of the City Council's acquisition this
week of the Cunard building, part of a cost-saving scheme which will
see the Council relocating hundreds of staff to the Grade II
waterfront site and disposing of its interest in Millennium House,
and the 10th floor of The Capital building on Old Hall Street.
If given the go-ahead, Signature Living Hotel Ltd (SL), will submit
a planning application to convert Millennium House into a
250-capaCity Bill Shankly-themed Aparthotel.
A unique,"Bill Shankly museum', within the hotel, will
feature a range of never-before-seen items, which tell the story of
the revered Liverpool FC manager, and which have been held for many
years by his family.
The £15 million development will also include 17,500 sq ft of
upgraded office space; which will house Signature Living's head
office, as well as providing space for local start-up companies, as
part of a young, creative professional hub. And the City's
Lifestyles Gym which operates from the building will be expanded and
transformed into a flagship 21st century facility; with new,
state-of-the-art equipment; and leased back by the Council, who
will continue to operate it as part of the on-going leisure
provision in the City.
It is estimated that the scheme will create over 60 jobs during the
construction period, and a further 100 jobs once the conversion is
complete and the building fully occupied.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said:- "The relocation of
our staff to the Cunard building will generate millions in savings
and income for the City Council. But it's really important, once our
staff leave Millennium House, that the long-term vibrancy of the
building; and importantly, Victoria Street - is protected. I
believe this project will deliver that.
Liverpool's sporting heritage is celebrated throughout the world,
but we do not have a major football attraction in the City centre.
These proposals would change that, providing a permanent tribute to
one of our most famous footballing heroes, filling a gap within our
tourism market, and attracting visitors from across the globe.
This really is a unique project, and something people would not be
able to experience anywhere else in the world. A hotel celebrating
the life, times and achievements of Bill Shankly would complement
the raft of cultural attractions on the nearby William Brown Street,
and further boost our tourism offer in this part of the City.
The scheme would also enable us to deliver a bigger, better,
Lifestyles gym, as well as delivering new office space, creating
jobs and securing major investment in a key City centre building.
It's a great deal for the City."
Bill Shankly's grandson, Chris Carline, who is collaborating with
Signature Living on the project, said:- "I've been working on
this idea for many years now, meeting different people and seeking
different advice about how I could make this happen. As a huge
Liverpool fan and born and bred Liverpudlian, who's travelled
everywhere with the club, I've always known what a fantastic amenity
this could be for the City.
It is about celebrating Shankly the man, his achievements, what he
stood for and the people he influenced and those who influenced him;
celebrating his life in essence. We have unbelievable memorabilia
that has never been seen before and family stories that will ensure
a visit to the hotel gives you a never before seen or heard Shankly
experience; it really will be a must see for everyone.
He loved this City and would be so proud, as he was all about the
people and their experience; and this is the exact ethos that
Signature Living look to provide for guests."
If granted Cabinet approval, Signature Living intends to submit a
planning application for the whole project in April.
Construction of the aparthotel and office conversion would begin in
early 2015 with the scheme due to complete by March 2016.
The gym expansion would be carried out first, and completed by
summer of this year. The existing gym will continue to run while the
work takes place, keeping disruption to existing gym users to a
Lawrence Kenwright, Director at Signature Living Hotel Ltd, said:-
"Whatever one's football allegiance, Bill Shankly remains a
legend of the sport. He brought the glory days back to Liverpool FC,
and we intend to do the same at this landmark City centre building.
We will transform it into an iconic hotel and museum in his name. We
will also use part of the building to support local start-ups and
new university graduates, with what will be a creative hub for
If approved, these plans will provide a huge boost to Liverpool's
regeneration and will be yet another good news story for the City."
blackspots emerge in North West
IN areas of the North West,
4 out of 10 jobs pay less than the living wage, the TUC reveals, to
coincide with the 15th anniversary of the introduction of the
minimum wage and the second week of the TUC's Fair Pay Fortnight
which runs until Sunday, 6 April 2014.
TUC analysis of official figures from the House of Commons Library
shows that nationally on average 1 in 5 jobs pays under the living
wage; currently set at £8.80 in London and £7.65 across the rest of
the UK; but in some parliamentary constituencies nearly half of the
people working there earn less than this with up to 40% of workers
in North West constituencies being paid less than this. On average,
21% of North West workers are paid below the living wage.
Across the UK, around 5 million people get paid less than the living
wage. Whilst Kingswood near Bristol tops the list of living wage
black spots with 48% of people working there earning less than £7.65
an hour, Sefton Central ranks 4th in the top ten (40.4%), with
Blackpool South in 7th (39.3%) and West Lancashire in 8th (38.2%).
For some women in the North West, the picture painted by the figures
is even bleaker. Heywood and Middleton ranks 3rd in the top 10
national blackspots for women, with nearly half of all women being
paid less than the living wage (49.7%). The constituencies of Hazel
Grove (44.9%), West Lancashire (44.9%) and Knowsley (43.4%) fare
The North West is not all doom and gloom according to the figures
though, with brightspots in the region including Blackley and
Broughton were only 1 in 10 are paid below the living wage (9.8%)
and in Salford and Eccles were just over 1 in 10 are paid the living
wage (12.9%). It's similar for women, with Salford and Eccles coming
out on top in the North West of women's living wage brightspots with
15.9% of all women being paid more than £7.65 an hour. The North
West TUC say this shows the benefit of proactive policies of local
authorities in tackling low pay amongst workers, following the work
in Salford and other Manchester authorities to implement and work
towards a living wage.
North West TUC Regional Secretary Lynn Collins said:- "The
figures are a cause for concern, particularly those blackspots that
have emerged throughout the region. Extending the living wage is a
vital way of tackling the growing problem of in-work poverty across
Britain and we believe more can be done to move people out of what
are essentially poverty wages. That is why this Friday (4 April) we
will be bringing together MP's, Trade Unions and Local Authorities
in a summit on the Living Wage."
TUC research late last year showed that there were 571,000 workers
across the North West paid below the living wage, who if they were
uplifted to the £7.65 threshold would provide a financial boost to
the public purse of £347million through a combination of increased
tax revenues and lower benefit payments. This, coupled with the
improvement in living standards for workers and their families, is
more than enough reason for the NWTUC to call for employers in both
the public and private sector to do more to pay staff the living
Lynn Collins said:- "Working families are experiencing the
biggest pressure on their living standards since Victorian times.
The squeeze on pay is hurting individuals and hurting families. It's
also having a damaging impact on our economy.
There's been a rise in the number of employers paying the living
wage and unions are playing their part in encouraging more employers
to sign up and pay it – but government must show equal initiative.
We need to see a far greater commitment to pay the living wage from
government and employers, and modern wages Councils which could set
higher minimum rates in industries where employers can afford to pay
their staff more. What we've seen take place in areas like Salford,
Preston and Wirral with the local authority playing a leading role
in paying the living wage and encouraging local businesses to do the
same shows that we can all work together to do this. During
Fair Pay Fortnight we're asking workers to back our call to MPs to
get all political parties to put decent pay at the top of their
agendas in the run up to the election."
Those wanting to support the call for Fair Pay can sign the petition
Page to Stage
Extends Its Deadline...
BY popular request, Page to Stage has extended its script
submission window by 14 days. Final deadline is now midnight on 14
April 2014. "There are 2 reasons for this...
Page to Stage has a lot of correspondence from
writers about late submissions because of the narrow submission
window. In fairness to those writers who may have struggled to
complete a script in the 6 weeks since the announcement, the
deadline has been extended.
The neighbouring 24:7 festival has only just released details of its
ten successful scripts. "We felt that we should enable those who
didn't make it through the 24:7,. So
we've moved the date for them, to give them time to submit." John
Page to Stage is a new writing festival that will take place between
13 and 28 September 2014 in venues around Liverpool City Centre. As
well as the 10 successful 1-act-plays, there will be specially
commissioned full length plays, workshops, special events and
Details about submissions can be found