SCOTLAND’S most wealthy and influential people who slept out overnight for charity have raised more than £500,000 to build a homeless village in Edinburgh.

More than 300 of the most influential people in the country took to Edinburgh’s Charlotte Square on December 15 to sleep rough for the Social Bite CEO Sleepout to raise funds for the project.

Social Bite, a successful sandwich chain which supports and employs homeless people, plans to provide a low-cost, supervised and safe living environment for up to 20 homeless people with 10 purpose-built homes in Granton, Edinburgh, and needed £500,000 for the idea to come to life.

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The total raised was £564,545.

Participants who included Olympic cycling veteran Sir Chris Hoy were served breakfast by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon following their night out under the stars.

Work is expected to begin on the project early next year, with the first residents moving in by the summer.

It will be run by Social Bite with the EDI Group and the City of Edinburgh Council. Earlier this month, Josh Littlejohn, co-founder of Social Bite received an MBE for services to social enterprise.