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Signature Living announces controversial hotel plans for Denbigh hospital

Reaction to the plans has been mixed with some locals calling the idea of the themed hotel ‘crass and disrespectful’

Signature Living has proposed plans to redevelop the Denbigh hospital in North Wales into a hotel themed around its history as a Victorian asylum.

The company plans to transform the Grade-II-listed former asylum into two luxury hotels, and Signature Living boss Lawrence Kenwright says he and his team were looking at basing one of the two hotels planned for the site around a ghostly theme that drew on the building’s former use as a psychiatric hospital.

Kenwright said he is determined to “keep all of the original buildings, preserving the history and iconic status of this magnificent listed building”.

He said: “Our track record as a developer, owner and operator has clearly demonstrated that we have the necessary expertise and skill set in the regeneration of listed historical buildings. We breathe new life into these tired and often derelict listed buildings, turning them into thriving hotels and businesses.”

“We will shine a light on Denbigh, as we have done with Liverpool, bringing inward investment, creating jobs and tourism.”

However reactions towards the plans have been mixed with some locals calling the idea of the themed hotel “crass and disrespectful”.

Writing on local newspaper the Daily Post’s Facebook page, Julia Boardman wrote: “It’s not bold it’s crass and massively disrespectful to all those who have suffered with mental illness and especially the treatment of them. Not cool!”

Sue WIlliams also wrote: “Development fine – themed no, no. no. Denbigh hospital (rightly or wrongly) has some dreadful connotations for many people in North Wales.”

The Denbigh plans are being considered by the local council and if successful will result in the creation of around 550 hospitality jobs.

Signature Living currently operates five hotels in the UK including the Shankly Hotel in Liverpool and has a further eight in development.

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