Plans for beer garden at former Bank of Scotland

Nic Wood, director of Signature Pubs. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Nic Wood, director of Signature Pubs. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Have your say

Hopes for a massive makeover of a former Bruntsfield bank have progressed after designs were re-submitted to city planners.

Pub group Signature Pubs Ltd initially put forward plans for a new restaurant and bar with an outdoor seating area in April for the now vacant Bank of Scotland building on Morningside Road.

But reaction from the local community, who objected to the impact of a rear extension, sparked a decision to bring the designs back to the drawing board.

The plans have now been altered, taking into consideration local feedback.

The proposals feature a scaled-back extension that would be built to the rear of the original bank building.

Large glass windows would create a bright dining room, with plans to include an outdoor seating area at the front of the building. The main banking hall could be transformed into a bar with seating and booths.

Iron gates would also be installed to match the existing railings. The new design, by architect Ian Forbes, aims to minimise the view of the new building from street level.

Signature Pubs Ltd director Nic Wood said it was important the firm delivered the right product for the location that fitted with the local community.

He said: “We are extremely excited about our upcoming project at Holy Corner and, having taken into account feedback both from the city planners and online forums where the development was discussed, we have re-submitted our plans in line with the changes that were highlighted and recommended.

“This is a great opportunity for us to show the people of Morningside, Bruntsfield and Merchiston what we can create as a company, which hopefully appeals to everybody’s desires with a restaurant and bar concept that will blow people away with its style, comfort and 
quality of offering and service.” The new venture is intended to have its own unique identity, distinct from other pubs, restaurants and hotels in the Signature portfolio, in line with the pub group’s focus.

Mr Wood said: “We are creating a venue that is accessible to all and we are working hard to make sure our offering is suitably tailored to enhance the community, which has been at the heart of this project and will remain our focus.

“We’re very much looking forward to hearing thoughts and feedback on our newest plans and welcoming you with open arms shortly.”

Flanked by Christ Church and a Tesco Metro, the 19th century bank was one of the earliest buildings to be erected at the prominent Holy Corner junction.

The proposal will now be put forward for planning permission and listed building consent.

Signature Pub Group was founded in 2003 by Mr Wood, who drew on his experiences from working along the Grassmarket.

The firm also operates other venues across the city, including Kyloe, The Huxley, The Rutland Hotel, Badger & Co., Heads and Tales, The Boozy Cow and The Queen’s Arms.