However the reasons behind the change on project to build the city’s first five-star hotel remain unclear, with LRW claiming it had decided to end its involvement with the £15 million scheme while the developer, Iliad, has told the AJ it had made the decision to turn to local-firm FCH instead.
A spokesman for Iliad said: ‘When Erinaceous went bust, about a month or so ago, the LRW contract ended and FCH came on board instead.’
FCH has been brought in as project architect to see the 80-bedroom development, drawn up three years ago by LRW, through to completion.
The original plans attracted criticism in summer 2007 when ornate stonework above the doors was demolished. Iliad said it had done nothing wrong and was working with full planning consent. English Heritage later ordered an audit of historical buildings in the city.