Talks are being held to save four care homes which had been planned for closure.

Bield announced in October it was to shut 12 of its properties across Scotland after deciding to withdraw from the care home market.

The firm has now written to residents and families at four homes saying discussions are progressing "positively" with new buyers.

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Charlie Dickson, director of housing and care services, said: "We are very aware of the serious impact of the closures of our care homes.

"That is why when we had initial interest from potential buyers for a number of the homes, we have worked hard to reach an agreement that will allow them to remain open.

"We recognise that there is still a level of uncertainty but we are progressing the conclusion of the transfers as quickly as possible.

"While we are relatively confident that we will reach a confirmed position, until these matters are concluded - which is likely to be in the new year - we cannot confirm the date of a potential transfer or give an absolute certainty that the service will be purchased and continue."

The homes involved are Haugh Street and Craighall Road in Edinburgh and Millfield Gardens in Jedburgh, in which the prospective new owner is Mansfield Care.

Meanwhile, Kingdom Homes could take over Finavon Court in Glenrothes.

It is expected staff would be transferred as part of any sale.

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The firm said it is also building interest with alternative providers for other care homes and it hopes to provide an update on these by the end of December.

Bield decided to withdraw from the market due to it making a loss in the sector over a number of years.

Mr Dickson added: "We will support all residents and their families to find alternative arrangements that best suit their requirements and we remain committed to maintaining the current level of care and support in our homes until this is done."