Virgin Money confirms details on new Edinburgh HQ

Image caption, Virgin Money secured a lease in Edinburgh and will move in the summer

More details have emerged about Virgin Money's plans for its new headquarters in Edinburgh.

The firm, which already has some 80 staff in Edinburgh, wants to hire about 300 people to bolster administration teams before it launches a banking proposition in late 2011 or 2012.

It aims to offer deposit accounts, followed by mortgages and current accounts, to rival established players.

The firm secured a lease at St Andrew Square and will move in the summer.

It bought the lease on the 30,000 sq-ft (2,787 sq-m) office space from Heineken, formerly Scottish & Newcastle.

Virgin Money's chief executive, Jayne-Anne Gadhia, said: "We are planning to grow significantly in 2011 and needed a central location with good transport links."

She said Scotland also had a "solid reputation" for financial services.

Virgin Money bought small regional bank Church House Trust last year to obtain a banking licence and speed up its plans to become a full-service bank.

The group also secured a £100m investment from US billionaire Wilbur Ross, who now owns 21% of the firm.

The company, which has more than 2.5 million customers, was founded in Norwich in 1995 as a joint venture between Richard Branson's Virgin Group and the then Norwich Union.

It said it would retain the Norwich office, which employs about 250 people, as well as sites in London and Yeovil following the opening of the Edinburgh office.

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