Plans to transform a listed former financial services office block into a hotel have been approved.

A large hotel company was granted permission for a change of use, alteration, and extension to the former city centre office to create a hotel, restaurant and bar.

It comes after the prime St Andrew Square site in the Scottish capital was acquired by the Dalata Hotel Group, Ireland's biggest hotel operator, for £12.5 million from Aviva Life & Pensions UK Limited.

The Briefing reported last month that plans had been lodged with City of Edinburgh Council.

The developer, which has Hawkins/Brown Architects as lead designer, said: "Previous Clayton Hotel projects have taken on other historic buildings and built new extensions to maximise suitability, allowing the building to be utilised and enjoyed for years to come."

The Herald: How the building might look from another angleHow the building might look from another angle (Image: Dalata/Hawkins Brown)

Dalata also said: "The adaptive reuse of 28 St Andrew Square as a four-star hotel is a unique opportunity to transform a significant Category A listed building within the Edinburgh World Heritage Site.

"These proposed works will help secure the long-term future of this heritage asset by giving it a viable new life. Allowing public access to this listed building will provide continuous activation to a key area within the city centre.

"Not only will the hotel provide for visitors to the city, but also for local businesses through the provision of meeting rooms and workspaces, in line with the Clayton Hotel brand."

Landmark city headquarters changes ownership

Aberdeen’s Talisman House has been sold to Shelborn Investments Limited, the asset management team behind Quorum Park and Edinburgh Green, in a deal worth £8.2 million.

The sale has been secured by specialist real estate asset and investment manager Catella APAM on behalf of the building's previous owner, Britannia Invest A/S of Denmark. Described as a landmark in the Aberdeen skyline for more than two decades, Talisman House spans approximately 96,000 square feet across two wings and is fully let to Repsol Resources UK, the North Sea business of Spain's Repsol. 

How to reduce your tax bill

This article appears as part of the Money HQ newsletter.

Many of us will face bigger tax bills this year. With the personal allowance frozen until 2027/28, plus the additional rate threshold dropping to £125,140, taxes will increase by £40 billion by 2028, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

In addition, the tax-free allowances for Dividend and Capital Gains Tax will halve in 2024/25 to £500 and £3,000 respectively.