Work is expected to start later this year, subject to planning, and complete in 2024
Glasgow’s Met Tower, the 14-storey office building in the heart of the city centre that’s been vacant since 2014, is set to become a new hub for tech and digital businesses.
A £30m transformation programme has been unveiled by Bruntwood SciTech after it acquired the ‘People Make Glasgow’ building from Osborne+Co for £16.2m.
The joint venture between investor and developer Bruntwood and financial services group Legal & General plans for the Grade B listed, old City of Glasgow College building, to become a place where university spin-outs, start-ups and scale-ups can co-locate in a collaborative tech cluster.
It is intended that Met Tower will be net zero in operation, following a transformation project that will retain as much of its existing fabric as possible, significantly reducing the embedded carbon impact of the re-development.
Businesses based there will be able to access Bruntwood SciTech’s UK-wide network of innovation districts, allowing them to collaborate with a 500-strong community of tech and science businesses, and will be provided with specialist support, which includes access to talent, new markets, funding and professional services advice.
Offering 113,000 sq ft of serviced and leased office space, the plan is for a shared breakout space on the ground floor, along with showers, lockers, secure cycle store and sports kit drying room, as well as a rooftop lounge, cafe and other amenities.
Work is expected to start later this year, subject to planning, and complete in 2024.
Plans for Met Tower’s adjacent development site are being reviewed and are yet to be finalised.
Kate Lawlor, chief executive of Bruntwood SciTech, said: “Met Tower is a Glasgow landmark in a brilliant location for innovative tech and digital businesses.
“Not only is it in the heart of the city centre on the doorstep of Queen Street station and a short walk from Central station, its immediate proximity to The University of Strathclyde, Glasgow Caledonian University and the City of Glasgow College – who we’re very keen to work more closely with – will provide a huge pool of exceptional talent to draw upon.”
Glasgow’s science and tech sector has experienced some of the highest growth in the whole of the UK in the past two years, and now makes up 28% of all jobs in the city. As a result, it has retained its position in the top three leading tech cities in the UK outside of London.
The city joins Bruntwood SciTech’s network of innovation districts that includes locations in Birmingham, Cambridge, Greater Manchester, Leeds, and Liverpool.
As the Met Tower project develops, the company will be looking to recruit a locally based team in Glasgow.
OakNorth Bank supported Bruntwood SciTech with the acquisition of Met Tower through the provision of an £8.6m acquisition loan and an agreement to provide up to £27m of additional funding to support the subsequent redevelopment of the building.
Ryden, Brodies and Addleshaw Goddard advised Bruntwood SciTech and Pinsents advised OakNorth on the transaction. Savills and DLA represented Osborne+Co.
In 2020, Osborne+Co applied for planning permission for its long-heralded £100m transformation of the former City of Glasgow College campus into offices and a hotel.
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