A city pub chain has pledged 150 new jobs after a £10 million investment in new venues in the past year.
Signature Pub Group, owner of The Huxley, has announced plans to take on the staff amidst proposals to refurbish an empty bank building at Holy Corner into a new eatery, attracting 50 new positions.
Another project, to renovate the former Robertson Memorial Mission Church, on the north-western corner of the Grassmarket, into a bar, restaurant, microbrewery and a rooftop terrace with views of Edinburgh castle, could be complete by the end of the year bringing more jobs and bucking the industry’s downward trend.
If approved, the £2m investment for an all day eatery in the former Bank of Scotland building in Bruntsfield would restore the 19th century building, which has lain derelict for two years.
Pub bosses hope the new design, which utilises natural light and open space to compliment the Victorian architecture, will win favour with the council planners and to approve the designs.
Community reaction to initial designs for the site prompted group founder Nic Wood to take the designs back to the drawing board.
Public consultations triggered the inclusion of a partial glass conservatory to rear of the building whilst also complimenting the surroundings. The group also hope to install a children’s play park in grounds.
The bar and kitchen will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the week including a children’s menu.
As with all Signature venues, the chefs will focus on using local ingredients and not only will the food be produced locally but Cold Town Beer will also be on offer, which is brewed in nearby Powderhall.
Signature director Nic Wood said: “We saw a vital priority to ensure that the building is owned by a local company who know the area. I have worked in bars and restaurants throughout the city during my career. I have seen the Morningside and Brunstfield area develop over recent years and I know that Signature can provide the very best facilities for local residents.
“We’re delighted to be able to bring this new bar and kitchen to create a community feel for everyone to enjoy.
“This £10m investment across the business shows our commitment to the Scottish economy and the communities our venues serve and we would like to extend this to Morningside.”
Earlier this year, the firm bought the Auld Hundred in the Capital’s Rose Street and the Boozy Cow bars in Edinburgh, Dundee, Stirling and Aberdeen from Speratus Group.
The group said its two latest ventures in the Grassmarket and Morningside would make up the majority of the new hires, with roles including managers, bar staff, chefs and trainers. Mr Wood described the Grassmarket establishment as “something a bit different” with drinks tastings and beer brewed on site.
Planning permission was granted in 2016 but revised designs have been submitted for listed building consent approval after issues with the foundations were highlighted.