TROPHY hunters from the Middle East, local moguls, Stateside bidders and city speculators are among those expected to be in the running to buy the £22 mil-lion-plus Donaldson's College in Edinburgh.

It is thought the Grade A listed Playfair building may end up as a hotel, homes or a leisure complex after a flats plan fell through.

High-end estate agents Savills said that due to a high level of global interest a closing date of May 31 has been set, just six weeks after it was put on the market by owners Cala Evans Restoration.

Peter Allen of Savills said: “Properties of such signifcance rarely come to the market, especially in such a stunning location – essentially the gateway to a world heritage capital city.

“Donaldson’s has attracted hotel, leisure and residential interest from around the world, potential buyers who are intent on breathing new life into this historic building. We are confident that a deal will be done at the right price. Serious parties include local players, national developers and trophy hunters based in the Middle East.

“The interest reflects our research, demonstrating that despite an otherwise turbulent market, there is strong demand from cash rich investors for landmark properties, like 1 Hyde Park in London and key prime locations in St Andrews.”

Designed in the 1840s by renowned Edinburgh architect William Playfair, the building is set on 18 acres of land close to the city’s Haymarket Station, and offers significant potential for both residential and hotel development.

Donaldson’s School for the Deaf, now in Linlithgow, opened in 1850 with a £124,000 legacy left by city printer James Donaldson.

Cala bought it in 2004 for £22m, excluding fees and professional costs.

Cala had permission for 63 apartments in the building and 72 in the grounds at the rear and side, but the plans foundered.