PENSIONS and investments giant M&G has underlined its commitment to Scotland by taking a 20-year-lease on an office complex with space for hundreds of staff.

The complex in Stirling will provide a base for around 700 employees who work for the group’s Prudential and M&G businesses on the Craigforth site in the city.

This has been occupied by the group and forerunners since the 1990s.

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The decision to make a lengthy commitment to the new Kildean site represents a big vote of confidence in Scotland on the part of London-based M&G.

Clare Bousfield, chief finance officer at M&G, said: “Because of the quality and number of talented individuals in the finance and technology sectors, Scotland remains an important source of talent for M&G.”

She added: “The new office will provide a sustainable working environment, where we can better collaborate … as we adopt more flexible and digital-first ways of working.”

The group committed to the new complex 18 months after announcing that Scotland would be a beneficiary of rationalisation moves that were intended to help make it more competitive. These resulted in the closure of four offices in England.

Chief executive John Foley said that year that the skills mix available in Scotland had been a big factor in the decision.

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M&G chose Edinburgh to be the centre of its digital operations under an investment programme he expected to put it into a position to lead the way in terms of innovation. It employs 600 people in the city.

The Stirling operation is home to functions such as finance and human resources as well as pensions administration staff.

M&G will lease the Kildean property from a joint venture between Stirling Council and Cromwell Property Group. Staff are expected to transfer from Craigforth in 2022.

M&G includes the asset management business of that name and pensions businesses operated under the Prudential brand. It was demerged in 2019 from Prudential’s operations focused on Asia, the US and Africa.

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Prudential took over the Craigforth site following the £2.75bn acquisition of former mutual Scottish Amicable in 1997. Scottish Amicable moved its headquarters from Glasgow to Stirling in 1996.