First Virgin Hotel in Europe planned for Edinburgh
Sir Richard Branson's hotel chain plans to open a five-star property on Victoria Street.
Sir Richard Branson's luxury hotel chain, Virgin Hotels, has announced plans to open its first European property in Edinburgh.
The 225-room five-star hotel will be located on Victoria Street in the city's Old Town.
The India Buildings property, which is currently unoccupied, will be designed to offer a "stunning mix of old and new" and will include several bars and restaurants.
The hotel is slated to open in 2020, as Virgin Hotels expands from the United States to the UK and elsewhere in Europe.
It is expected to provide a £5m annual boost to the local economy and support hundreds of jobs during the construction.
'Edinburgh is such an iconic city and we're thrilled to be able to say it will be the home of the first Virgin Hotel in the UK and across Europe.'Sir Richard Branson
Sir Richard said: "Edinburgh is such an iconic city and we're thrilled to be able to say it will be the home of the first Virgin Hotel in the UK and across Europe.
"My grandparents were from Edinburgh and my wife Joan is also Scottish, so the country has always held a special place in my heart.
"The people of Edinburgh have been so great in welcoming us to their great city; we can't wait to open our doors to people across the country and, indeed, the world."
Virgin Hotels CEO Raul Leal said: "Edinburgh has so much to offer, as a top travel destination in the UK and internationally, it's an ideal location for our next hotel.
"This project, from an award-winning hotel brand such as Virgin Hotels, will further highlight the city's eclectic style while remaining true to its historic heritage, all while offering guests and locals alike an experience like no other."
'This is an exciting announcement and a huge coup for Edinburgh.'Councillor Gavin Barrie
Gavin Barrie, Edinburgh City Council's economy convener, said: "This is an exciting announcement and a huge coup for Edinburgh; it really is testament to the city's resilience during these uncertain times that Virgin Hotels has chosen Edinburgh as the first city outside the US in which to open a new hotel.
"It's estimated that the hotel will provide a £5m boost to the local community every year, helping one of the city's key shopping areas in Victoria Street and the Grassmarket.
"The development of the site will help support hundreds of jobs during construction."