Lawrence Kenwright
Lawrence Kenwright runs the Signature Living Group

Signature ends tumultuous year with opening

Dan Whelan

The hotel developer and operator is to open the grade two-listed Rainhill Hall in St Helens after converting it into a 47-bedroom hotel and wedding venue, following a year of financial difficulty for the wider group.

St Helens Council approved Signature Living’s plans to convert the building, located off Warrington Road, in 2018.

The project saw Signature add 14 bedrooms on the lower-ground floor as well as a function room and a spa.  

The upper-ground floor comprises a further 10 bedrooms as well as function rooms, a restaurant and bar, and a reception area. The first floor has 19 bedrooms, including the bridal suite.

The second floor has four further bedrooms and the venue also features a chapel for wedding ceremonies.

Rainhill Hall was built in 1824 by landowner Bartholomew Bretherton. 

In 1923, it was sold to a group of Jesuits who renamed it Loyola Hall and turned the building into a catholic retreat comprising 50 bedrooms. 

However, it closed 2014 before being snapped up by Signature Living three years later. 

Lawrence Kenwright, co-owner and founder of Signature Living, said: “With Rainhill Hall we have preserved and restored one of the region’s much-loved heritage buildings and given it a sustainable future.” 

The project signals a successful end to a tumultuous year for the firm, which saw a number of its subsidiaries enter administration. 

Rainhill Hall Entrance 1

Signature Living Group bought the building in 2017

During the months of lockdown, six entities fell into administration, including the hotel group’s parent company, Signature Living Hotel, for which Duff & Phelps was appointed as administrator. 

Signature Living Hotel collapsed owing £113m to creditors, including £65m to other group entities, including Signature Living Residential and Signature Victoria Mill, and £10m to investors, according to administrators. 

However, in August, Kenwright said he was close to agreeing a deal that would result in the company buying back assets that had been place into administration. 

Signature Living residential and Signature Victoria Mill, the owning entities behind a 167-apartment scheme in Liverpool, and the conversion of a grade two-listed building in Manchester into 85 loft-style apartments, were put up for sale in September. 

Kenwright added today: “It’s an exciting time for Signature Living. The fact that we are opening Rainhill Hall after such a difficult year is a testament to our entire staff. They have worked with me literally day and night to keep our business alive and to bring forward schemes.” 

Click any image to launch gallery 

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It looks nice enough but cannot get into the gallery or rooms on the website – unless I am being dim!

By Donna

Please, please, please Lawrence, finish off the roof on the Shankley in Liverpool. It’s looked a terrible mess now for years, in fact since you started building it and never finished it. It’s monstrous, but even worse because you’ve never finished it off.
I’m pleased you’re bringing new life to Rainhill Hall, but ‘good will’ will evaporate if you don’t get things finished to a decent standard.

By Red Squirrel

Such a lovely inspiring news story. I am sure all their creditors wish them a prosperous year ahead.

By Grey Squirrel