THE first step in the £2million facelift of an Irvine hotel is complete after the new signage went up.

The Riverside Lodge Hotel – formerly the Hallmark Hotel – officially changed its name and the new sign went up on the building last week.

The hotel is getting a complete overhaul after being bought by Ayrshire businessman Henry Fitzsimmons, the property developer behind the Brisbane House Hotel in Largs.

Last month Henry, who also owns Oscars in Saltcoats, revealed to the Times he has grand plans for the hotel, including a new restaurant, gym and swimming pool and hopes to turn it in to an entertainment hub and onestop-shop wedding venue.

Henry explained the revamp will cost in excess of £2million which will include all 128 rooms being completely refurbished.

The function suite and entrance lobby will also undergo an overhaul and a water feature will be added to the outside of the building.

Henry will also be reviving the restaurant in the hopes that it will become a premier eaterie in the area.

He said: “We are going to knock walls out, similar to what we did in Largs where you have a big glass front looking into the gardens.”

Work will be starting on the hotel foyer and bedrooms first, which Henry hopes to be finished in the coming months, followed by the landscaping getting underway in spring and the fitness suite later in the year.