Former college campus transformed into luxury apartments

The Bankfield site

Liverpool-based developer Signature Living has completed the transformation of a former college campus on the city’s outskirts into a luxury apartment block.

Founded and owned by Lawrence Kenwright, Signature Living is best known for city centre hotels and venues, but expanded into the residential market in 2016 by buying the Bankfield Centre in West Derby village from the City of Liverpool College.

The company, which operates the Shankly, Dixie Dean, Arthouse and Signature hotels in Liverpool city centre, as well as the Alma de Cuba restaurant and bar, has converted the former further education site into 87 one- and two-bedroom apartments.

Alongside the residential scheme, Signature Living has secured planning for a new build 32-bed specialist care facility on part of the former car park to the site which will be completed in 2021.

Signature Living’s parent company, along with a handful of its property companies, collapsed into administration in April 2020.

However, the Bankfield Centre is the third residential scheme Signature Living has completed in the city region and Lawrence Kenwright said: “While hotel development and events remain very much at the heart of the business, over the last five years we have been working to create that ‘hotel at home’ appeal by repurposing this building from its original use into a modern luxurious living accommodation.

“I’m delighted that this scheme has completed. For obvious reasons it has been tough of late for our hospitality businesses being hit hard by the impact of the pandemic, but we have soldiered on and are working as hard as ever to bring various schemes forward.”

Among those are Rainhill Hall Hotel near St Helens and the Dixie Dean Hotel in Liverpool city centre, opposite the group’s flagship Shankly Hotel.

In addition, work has continued on the conversion of Kingsway House, a 1960s office building in Liverpool’s business district, into a mix of 119, studio and one- and two-bedroom apartments.

Meanwhile the Shankly Hotel in Preston is also progressing, with the former Post Office building’s roof now completed.

Mr Kenwright added: “With Rainhill Hall and Dixie Dean hotels now open and work on Kingsway House and at the Shankly Preston continuing at pace I am hopeful of a strong 2021. It is a testament to the quality of the local people we have working on the schemes that we are still making such significant progress in such challenging times.”

Apartments are being let by independent rental agents Simply Residential.