About Lawrence Kenwright

The Kenwright family

Lawrence Kenwright

I have two loves in my life. My first love is my family, who have consistently supported me throughout my life, both personally and professionally. My second love has to be for developing old buildings and giving them a new life and identity.

All property purchases come with a gamble, but I believe passion and determination ultimately determines whether the gamble pays off or not.

Signature Living

The creation of my first hotel, Signature Living, came from two weekends I was forced to endure many years ago.

The first weekend, I stayed in a hotel in Newcastle that was far away from the city centre, whilst spending a night out queuing in the cold, only to head back to the hotel before midnight. The next weekend my wife, Katie, organised a birthday trip away in a hotel. I was, however, disappointed when I was handed the €85 euro bill for 5 fims, WiFi, a bar of chocolate and a bottle of water. I decided the hotel industry needed a change, and so my passion for creating a luxurious aparthotel in Liverpool took over. My goal was to provide unrivalled accommodation, fantastic service and no hidden extras.

I was so passionate about the project, I sold my retail business and bought the Victoria Street building, which is now known as Signature Living, in 2004. After 4 and a half years of planning and designing, and thanks to the love and support of my wife and family, we opened the doors to our first clients on 14th August, 2008. This was the beginning of the rest of our lives.

Now, I’m not saying opening a hotel is ever easy, it never is, and many guest’s walked through our doors within the first few months, but it was a huge struggle. Thankfully our passion and hard work, resulted in our occupancy level hitting in excess of 80% within our first year, which is a huge feat as we had no knowledge of the Hotel industry before our baptism of fire.

Thankfully as we opened more and more apartment blocks and hotels the skills that we had hastily acquired along the way helped us to create a new style of attaining our own enquiries, which has helped with how we have defined our companies DNA that now runs right through our company.

30 James Street

In 2013, following the successful of Signature Living, myself and Katie acquired Albion House, a Grade II* Listed building that was formerly the White Star Line’s headquarters, and was designed by Richard Norman Shaw and J. Francis Doyle in 1896. The building was the HQ for the shipping company that produced some of the biggest and best ships in the world at the time of their launch, and so it was also RMS Titanic’s port of registry.

We both fell in love with the history and architecture of the building, and wanted to create a hotel that commemorated not just the White Star Line and RMS Titanic, but celebrated the city of Liverpool’s extensive maritime history.

This was no easy task, not only did we have to try and convince many individual investors to trust in our newly formed company, but we also had to contend with a very structured planning policy due to its National heritage status of Grade 2 star, you then have to contend with Conservation and the Victorian Society, if you have ever heard of the terminology of spinning plates, then this was like spinning tables.

I can see why developers do not wish to step into this cauldron and then as if it can’t get any worse you have to shoe horn a modern hotel into a listed building and bring the project in on time and on budget and then pull out your last bit of energy and try and fill the hotel, because if you do not, you could lose it all.

Quite daunting wouldn’t you say.

In April 2014, we successfully launched 30 James Street – Home of the Titanic, a Titanic-themed hotel in Liverpool. Each room commemorates a passenger or crew member aboard the famous ship, or celebrates a connection to the White Star Line company. We also launched Liverpool’s first rooftop bar, the Carpathia Champagne Bar and Restaurant, as well as the amazing Morgan’s Vault and Spa, offering a variety of relaxing spa treatments and packages.

The Shankly Hotel

The Shankly Hotel  We could not be more excited for its opening. Liverpool is such an amazing city with so much history to be proud of, and my goal is to ensure our heritage is never forgotten. Bill Shankly means a great deal not just to football fans, but to the city of Liverpool, and the legacy he left behind lives on. Please browse the website for the latest news on this amazing project.

I’m very proud of my achievements over the years, and the path here has most definitely been exciting and rewarding; it is certainly a path I hope to stay on for many years to come.

5 Comments

  1. Linda Lewis (nee Yates) Reply to Linda

    Great article in the echo, well said!!! I share your passion about the Adelphi and your positive approach and Loyalty to Liverpool. I have been fortunate to help out with the poppy display at St Georges hall and am loving the way people of Liverpool have taken this display to heart and are so proud to be part of it. All we need is bad comments about this iconic hotel to drag us down, it is vital this hotel is regenerated to become once again a positive landmark to this city.

  2. Lawrence
    Hope you get thhs
    I am watching undercover angel here in australia, 20 minutes in i have made a decision , your one hell of a bloke.
    Really like to meet one day for a chat , you know how they ask who would you have for dinner?
    Great work mate
    Steveo

  3. Julie stokes Reply to Julie

    I’ve heard exciting news that your possibly taking over the Cardiff coal exchange!!
    Now giving her a face lift would be awesome!!
    I remember the day the fire tore through that place!! My dad was a security guard there, we lived in the building!!
    I have many beautiful memories of this place as a child in all its former glory to sadly what she has now become!!
    I was 12 when the fire ravaged this building I’m now 43 and would love to play a part in bringing life back into this wonderful place!! I also know that under the floor in the main trading hall there’s a mosaic floor which has been preserved by putting block wooden flooring down!! I miss those bloody huge lions too, heavy too!!
    Would love to hear from you
    J stokes

  4. Alex McPherson Reply to Alex

    Hi Lawrence.
    I am watching at this moment your appearance on
    Undercover Angel. To see the faces of the many people that you spoke to during the show who are trying to make a difference in this world was amazing. These people are the backbone of are society. You are correct you cannot just throw money a issues and hope this will help, what you need are the people with vision and passion to drive it forward no matter what the hurdles.
    I am proud to call myself a scouser, we have all been through the hard times but we helped each other no matter what. It is great to see you offering the help to others in need. I think the City of Liverpool and its people always come to the fore when issues arise and need a helping hand congratulations to you and your organisation.
    I now live in Sydney for the past 38 years, but I come home as often as I can to see the wonderful place that gave me so much growing up and its people like yourself and many other scousers that always help others.

    Amazing what a bit of thought and help can do for others no matter how small or large to make difference in their world.

    REgards A Mc

  5. Helping other people and taking care of childrens in need that s a great job

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