Edinburgh real estate team announce £100m plan for 200 homes and 'green' offices at old Scottish Widows HQ

The former Scottish Widows HQ could be transformed into a ‘modern and sustainable space’ which would contain 200 homes and ‘green’ offices.

By Anna Bryan
Wednesday, 18th May 2022, 12:10 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th May 2022, 4:11 pm

A proposal, detailing plans for the building on Dalkeith Road, was put to Edinburgh Council on Wednesday.

In 2020, Scottish Widows left the space after nearly 45 years to “reduce the levels of unused space”.

The building will still be used for offices, but Schroders Capital Real Estate hopes to open up the site to allow the development of a new, high quality residential quarter.

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Around 200 flats are proposed as part of the residential quarter, 35% of which will be affordable.

The new office space will undergo a full renovation to become an all-electric building that meets net zero carbon performance targets.

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Rebecca Gates, Head of UK Asset Management at Schroders Capital’s Real Estate team, said: “We have challenged the design team to deliver an environmentally sustainable solution giving the building and its surrounding area a new lease of life and purpose.”

Scottish Widows left the office on Dalkeith Road in 2020.

Nick Ball from Corran Properties added: “From the outset, the priority has been to preserve and retain as much of the building’s fabric and history as possible, whilst respecting its Category A listed status and its position within the Southside Conservation Area. As custodians of the building, our client provided clear goals to ensure every possible option was explored to achieve this. The building is, however, from another era and with so many advances in environmental and sustainability technology, it is no longer viable as a modern, office environment.

“By reducing the size of the building’s footprint, we can retain and improve many of the building’s historical features, create a more manageable office building, whilst the new residential quarter will create a high-quality neighbourhood that will complement the surrounding area and provide much-needed new housing in a sustainable, urban location.”

Over the coming months, the project team will present proposals to the local community and interested parties, before submitting applications for planning permission and listed building consent to Edinburgh Council.

The first public consultation event will be held within the building on Tuesday, May 31 between 2pm – 8pm. This will be followed up by two online live chat events via the project website www.dalkeithroad.consultationonline.co.uk.

A proposal for development of the former Scottish Widows HQ was put to Edinburgh Council on Wednesday.