An historic Liverpool building is set to undergo a NZD$109 million make over with the hope of creating the city’s first five star hotel.

The Martins Bank Building, which was used to hide Britain’s gold during WW2, has been acquired by hotel providers the Principal Hayley Group.

The property on Water Street will be converted into a luxury hotel with a spa, bar and restaurant.

Work on the project is set to start later this year, with bosses hoping it will be complete before early 2018.

Designs for the hotel have not yet been released; however it’s believed that roof-top bars with views of the Liver Building and River Mersey form part of the plans.

The company is aiming for it to be the city’s first ever five star.

Planning permission and Listed Building consent has already been acquired by current owners Castlewood Securities, who have also been bought out as part of the deal.

“The Martins Bank building provides us with a strategically important presence in the heart of the Liverpool market, where there is a clear consumer need for a full-service luxury hotel and events space,” CEO of the Principal Hayley Group, Tony Troy, said.

“Liverpool’s astonishing transformation over the last decade has seen it become one of Europe’s most important exhibition and convention centres as well as one of the most visited cities by tourists. Our development will become the jewel in the crown of Liverpool’s hotel offering.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with the city to bring this plan to fruition and we will be working very closely with heritage experts to ensure our conversion of the building is sympathetic to its unique historic and architectural features.”

Joe Anderson, mayor of Liverpool, said the scheme would be a landmark development for the city and was a signal of its growing reputation as a global tourist destination and as a centre for exhibitions and conventions.

“I’m pleased to see these new and ambitious plans for bringing another iconic Liverpool building back into use. 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. I welcome the new investment by Principal Hayley and look forward to seeing progress during 2016,” Anderson said.