Britain's secret WWII gold bank to become a luxury hotel and spa

by Kim Megson | 19 Feb 2016

Hotel and leisure group Principal Hayley have vowed to create a luxury landmark hotel inside the historic Liverpool bank building used to hide most of Britain’s gold reserves during the Second World War.

The developers will spend £50m (US$71.5m, €64.5m) to transform the interiors of the Grade II listed neoclassical Martins Bank building into a five-star 227-room hotel, spa, bar and fine dining destination.

Full planning and listing has already been granted and construction will start on the project this year, with a potential opening in late 2017 or early 2018. The design team working on the conversion has not yet been revealed.

Tony Troy, CEO of the Principal Hayley Group, said the hotel will give the company an important presence in the heart of Liverpool, where there is currently no full service luxury hotel for leisure visitors.

He said: “Our development will become the jewel in the crown of Liverpool’s hotel offerings and we’ll be working very closely with heritage experts to ensure our conversion of the building is sympathetic to its unique historic and architectural features.”

Castlewood Securities, which has owned the Martins Bank building for 20 years, has been acquired by Principal Hayley Group Hotels in the deal.

“I’m pleased to see these new and ambitious plans for bringing another iconic Liverpool building back into use” said the city’s mayor, Joe Anderson. “It is an important landmark in the city’s business district and its conversion to a destination hotel reflects the continuing strength of the city’s visitor economy.”

The Martins Bank building – which opened in 1932 – was designed by Liverpudlian architect Herbert Rowse and is widely considered one of his most iconic works.

At the start of World War II, when fears of a Nazi invasion were at their height, the majority of Britain’s gold was transported to Liverpool in three heavily guarded trains and transferred to the bank’s vaults. The mission was dramatised in the 1993 Emmy-winning film The Bullion Boys.

Liverpool  Martins Bank  gold  hotel  second world war  Principal Hayley  luxury  spa  architecture  design 
Related stories

Hat-trick: Caruso St John architects unveil Liverpool Philharmonic, plus galleries for Damien Hirst and Larry Gagosian

Designs drawn up to transform rusting British wartime sea forts into destination hotel, spa and museum

Beatles-themed hotel in Liverpool up for sale

Titanic Hotel in Liverpool officially opens underground spa

Liverpool's Titanic-themed hotel welcomes first guests

Glasgow's Grand Central Hotel reopens

Hotel and leisure group Principal Hayley have vowed to create a luxury landmark hotel inside the historic Liverpool bank building used to hide most of Britain’s gold reserves during the Second World War. The developers will spend £50m (US$71.5m, €64.5m) to transform the interiors of the Grade II listed neoclassical Martins Bank building into a five-star 227-room hotel, spa, bar and fine dining destination. Full planning and listing has already
CLD,SAB,HOT,PRO,ARC,DES,DEV,INV
The Martins Bank building – which opened in 1932 – was designed by British architect Herbert Rowse and is widely considered one of his most iconic works / Dave Wood
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7540     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7540     
 
 
 
company profile
Company profile: Matrix Fitness
Unrelenting drive to be the best at what we do underpins activity throughout our vertically integrated business life cycle.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
Francis graduated as a landscape architect in Belgium. He returned to Lebanon in 1993
"I believe gardens are where the soul rests"

With a focus on desert landscapes and collaborations with Zaha Hadid and OMA, the principal of Francis Landscapes has a deep belief in the power of nature

Manuelle Gautrand
"The cities where you have good cultural buildings and facilities – it’s a way for people to mix, to share the city in a much deeper way"

The French architect and winner of the 2017 European Prize for Architecture tells us why she is determined to surprise

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
The Royal Pool and Spa Suite has a private bio-sauna, steam sauna and jacuzzi
"Wellness embraces the entire holiday experience"

The design of the newly-opened Lefay Resort and Spa Dolomitti in Italy aims to celebrate and protect its spectacular surroundings

features
"Most clients are very focused on how buildings are used and experienced as the primary design driver"

The MD of Schmidt Hammer Lassen and the CEO of PerkinsWill tell us why their merger will help create smarter buildings driven by human behaviour

McGregor Coxall’s Adrian McGregor is leading a project to create a ‘bird airport’ in Tianjin, China
"Funding woes and murky timelines are common problems. It can be easier to make a difference one small project at a time"

From parks designed to mitigate the effects of flooding to warming huts for one of the world’s coldest cities, these projects have been designed for increasingly extreme climates

cladkit product news
Matteo Thun grows Allaperto collection with new suspended outdoor armchair
Megan Whitby
Allaperto, the lounge collection spawned by the partnership between design studios, Matteo Thun, Ethimo and Antonio Rodriguez, has been expanded ...
Painting with Light pushes boundaries to create unforgettable visual concepts
The team combines lighting, video, sound and special effects, with scenic and architectural elements, to create unforgettable visual experiences
Megan Whitby
Belgium-based light and video design studio, Painting with Light, will translate the story of your location into a visual experience, ...
Tom Dixon collaborates with Prolicht to launch CODE lighting range
The product has three LED light sources: Dot, Dash and Grid
Megan Whitby
British designer, Tom Dixon, and Austrian architectural lighting specialists, Prolicht, have collaborated to unveil a new lighting range. Called CODE, ...
cladkit product news
Ritz Carlton co-founder joins Frontline Summit 2020 as keynote speaker
Hospitality veteran and Ritz Carlton co-founder, Horst Schulze, who brings more than 65 years’ experience to the table, has been announced as a keynote
Megan Whitby
Frontline work has never been more important and frontline workers are the largest class of workers on the planet, as ...
Barr + Wray to launch space saving hammam concept
Light shines through a striking central chandelier to create a feeling of movement
Katie Barnes
Smaller footprint. Maximum theatre. Those are the two main features of a new hammam concept being developed by wet spa ...
XTU concept imagines life in the clouds
XTU's X Cloud concept is part of the Future and the Arts: AI, Robotic, Cities, Life - How Humanity Will Live Tomorrow exhibition at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo
Lauren Heath-Jones
XTU Architects, a Paris-based architecture firm, has released images and renderings of X Cloud, a new concept that showcase a ...
cladkit product news
1885 Lounge at St Mary's Stadium celebrates Southampton FC's history
Rainbow Design worked closely with KSS Architects to ensure the furniture matched the design vision
Lauren Heath-Jones
KSS Architects has partnered with Rainbow Design, a London-based furniture supplier, to create the 1885 Lounge at St Mary's Stadium, ...
Daniel Svahn creates furniture collection using repurposed table tops
The Goodies But Oldies collection features three pieces made from repurposed MDF table tops
Lauren Heath-Jones
Daniel Svahn, a Stockholm-based furniture designer, has created a new range of sustainable furnishings, made from recycled MDF tabletops. Svahn, ...
Metalline transforms London hotel with bespoke aluminium fins
The aluminium fins will form the façade of the upcoming Minories Hotel in Aldgate, London
Lauren Heath-Jones
Metalline, an architectural metalwork specialist based in the UK, has created a range of bespoke 3D twisted metal fins for ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates