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Barclays helps bring iconic Donaldson’s School back to life

Posted: 31st May 2018

CALA Homes, one of the UK’s largest housebuilders, and Evans Property Group, have secured a £21m joint funding package from Barclays to support the development of 84 luxury residential apartments located in the grounds of the Playfair designed Donaldson’s School, Edinburgh.

After years of planning, the funding will assist in delivering phase one of the striking development of high-end homes, known as the Crescent, in the grounds of the original 19th Century building. The development has started marketing the first release of properties which has already generated a substantial amount of interest from both local and over-seas markets.


The building of Donaldson’s started in 1842, after its benefactor, a local newspaper publisher James Donaldson, bequeathed his estate to found a hospital for children after his death. It was designed by renowned architect William Henry Playfair, whose other landmark buildings in Edinburgh include the Scottish National Gallery on The Mound and Edinburgh University’s Old College. The building came on to the market after the Donaldson’s School announced it was to relocate to a new site in Linlithgow in 2008.

Neil Stoddart, Interim Group Finance Director of CALA Homes, said: “We are delighted to partner with Barclays in the development of this historic site in the heart of Edinburgh’s West End. The Crescent at Donaldson’s combines ambitious architectural style with innovative contemporary design to create a selection of exquisite apartments set within a UNESCO World Heritage Site.”

Nick Mayberry, Head of Real Estate for Northern & Scotland Region at Barclays, added: “Edinburgh’s residential property market is currently experiencing exceptionally high demand, and this deal demonstrates Barclays’ continued commitment to innovative, forward-thinking developers across Scotland.

“We worked hard to understand the specific needs for this project which, coupled with our successful track record in the property sector, meant we could provide a tailored funding package to help build one of Edinburgh’s newest and most exclusive estates located in one of its most famed sites.”

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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