HBoS agrees deal to buy Fountainbridge site

HALIFAX Bank of Scotland said today it has agreed a deal with Scottish & Newcastle to buy a disputed parcel of land at Fountainbridge.

The banking firm announced in March that it was in "exclusive" discussions with the brewer to consolidate all its Edinburgh-businesses into one local hub.

But a rival consortium of three firms, including Royal Bank of Scotland, said it had already been named by S&N as "preferred bidder" for the site.

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However, HBoS now appears to have won the tussle involving the two Capital financial powerhouses.

In a statement released today, it said: "HBoS confirms that it has reached agreement with Scottish & Newcastle to acquire land at Fountainbridge South in Edinburgh."

The bank said it could take up to five years before the first workers are able to move into their new offices. It added that it had not decided whether to keep the entire site, or sell off parts for others to develop.

The statement added: "Ultimately, the development could incorporate a number of other uses, including residential and commercial property, in addition to the HBoS hub building."

HBoS currently employs approximately 6000 people across 16 different buildings in Edinburgh. The Mound will continue to be the group headquarters.