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Royal Bank of Scotland Headquarters

Located on the site of the former Gogarburn Hospital, 6 miles (10 km) west of central Edinburgh, the world headquarters of the Royal Bank of Scotland group provides a campus-style office environment for 3000 staff. Bought by the bank in 2001, the 31.5-ha (78-acre) site comprises a main building with 32,516 sq. m (350,000 sq. feet) of office accommodation arranged in six blocks around a 280-m (918-feet) central indoor street, which also includes a supermarket, hairdresser, florist, pharmacy, various retail outlets and a staff restaurant. The campus was opened on the 14th September 2005 by HM Queen Elizabeth II, attended by First Minister Jack McConnell (b.1960) and his deputy Nicol Stephen (b.1960). It also includes a training and conference centre, incorporating a 300-seat tiered auditorium and its own television studio, sport facilities, with a 20m (65 feet) pool, gym, medical and fitness suites and on an adjacent site is a 70-bedroom residential business school. The building had been planned by the later disgraced chief executive Fred Goodwin (b.1958) and its ostentatious nature was criticised. His enormous office was later turned into a business hub, occupied by more than eighty entrepreneurs.

Once a country estate, surrounding the Grade-B listed Scots Renaissance Gogarburn House that dates from 1811 and was extensively modified in the later 19th C. This house has been retained and converted into a leisure club for staff. The stable block has become a nursery, while the original garden wall now encloses sports pitches. Gogarburn Hospital was built from 1924, designed as a village comprising a series of houses or blocks for the accommodation of mentally-handicapped patients, with a Children's Unit added in 1972, but closed in 1999.

The Royal Bank of Scotland was founded in Edinburgh in 1727, opened its first branch in Glasgow in 1783 and developed a large network of offices throughout Scotland during the 19th C. In 1874 it opened an office in London and from the 1920s developed, by acquisition, a major presence in England and Wales. By 1970, following merger with National Commercial Bank of Scotland, the Royal Bank enjoyed over 40% of Scotland's banking business. In 2000, under the Chairmanship of Viscount Younger of Leckie (b.1931), the Bank succeeded in its most ambitious venture, the take-over of the English National Westminster Bank, creating a combined banking group with assets in excess of £300 billion. The banking crisis of 2008 hit the Royal Bank badly, with £28 billion in losses, the largest in UK corporate history, and resulted in the UK government taking 70% ownership.

The Royal Bank Group includes Direct Line, the pioneering call centre-based insurance company, Ulster Bank, based in Northern Ireland, and the Citizens Financial Group, based in Rhode Island (USA), the second largest bank in New England, together with Coutts & Co, the Queen's banker, Churchill Insurance, Lombard Direct and WorldPay, one of the first Internet payment services.

The Bank has promoted environmentally-responsible travel options to access the campus.

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