BAM banking on Halifax branch plans

BAM Properties has lodged a planning application with Edinburgh City Council to create a new Halifax flagship retail banking branch at 131-133 Princes Street, along with an upmarket restaurant and bar with private rooms on the upper floors.
131-133 Princes Street has been selected by Halifax as one of the locations to launch its retail brand in Scotland, along with sites in Aberdeen and Glasgow. A number of financial services jobs would be created in Edinburgh.
The building was previously occupied by retailer GAP and has lain vacant for more than three years despite a £1.7M investment in upgrading the store.
Dougie Peters, Finance Director at BAM Properties, said, “We believe our plans to create a mixed-use development will add to the vibrancy and vitality of this part of the street.
“It will help drive the Council’s ambition to extend the Princes Street economy beyond normal shopping hours with a prestige restaurant and will help to increase footfall to the western end of the street as well as improving the general streetscape.
“Attracting retailers has been challenging due to tough retail conditions however our proposals provide a solution which will enable a historic building to be brought back into sustainable use, create much needed full-time jobs, and have a new banking facility.”
The planning application has been welcomed by Essential Edinburgh, the organisation which promotes Edinburgh’s city centre Business Improvement District.
Andy Neal, Chief Executive said, “The combination of a good high street financial operator and hospitality would be welcomed at the west end of Princes Street.
“Over time that area needs to develop beyond simply retail and this looks to me like a good solution that makes the best of the high footfall flow and views up to the castle.”