Deal for 11 Southern Cross homes

Eleven southern cross care homes in Scotland are to be taken over by Robert Kilgour, the Scottish businessman who founded Four Seasons Health Care in 1989.

Mr Kilgour, who left Four Seasons in 1999 and currently runs three care homes in Edinburgh and the Lothians, said he had been approached by three landlords to take over the homes after Southern Cross ran into financial difficulties.

The businessman expects to be running the homes by the start of October.

"Word in the industry has obviously spread and we're receiving a steady stream of enquiries from other landlords looking for help in ensuring a smooth transition away from the difficulties experienced by Southern Cross and I expect we'll be making further announcements about additional Scottish homes in the near future," he said.

Mr Kilgour added that, along with the landlords he represents, he had pledged to keep the homes open, and to refurbish the facilities as part of "seven figure capital investment programme".