Infrastructure & support
Accompanying the growth and modernisation of Glasgow to suit major business development, infrastructure, facilities and property in Glasgow have been upgraded and developed. In particular, the International Financial Services District in central Glasgow fulfils the need for office space and other infrastructure.
International Financial Services District (IFSD)
The IFSD, the core of which is centrally located in a one-square-kilometre area in the city centre is a purpose-built inner-city centre of excellence for financial services companies. More than £1bn investment has been pumped into the IFSD, mostly from the private sector, although the district is an example of strong collaboration between public and private sectors. More than 15,500 net jobs have been created since the IFSD was established, and more than 2 million square feet of grade A office space has been made available.
Many of the city’s biggest office buildings are located in the IFSD. Since 2001, property development has escalated:
- 2.7 million square feet of new or upgraded Grade A office space has been created
- 1,600 hotel and serviced apartment rooms have been created
- 700 residential apartments have been built
- 100,000 square feet of retail and leisure area have been created
Glasgow’s central business district has just over 2 million square feet of total office stock.
In the decade since the IFSD was established, the availability of office floor space in the city centre has more than doubled, from around 0.8m sq ft in 2001 to more than 2.1m sq ft. As more businesses have located in Glasgow, the availability of new properties and the high occupancy rate (81 percent currently versus 52 percent in 2007) have contributed to the greater demand.
A number of highly prestigious office developments have been completed, including:
- Aurora, 120 Bothwell Street – 177,000 sq ft (16,500 sq m)
- Optima, 58 Robertson Street – 115,000 sq ft (10,700 sq m)
- Sentinel, 103 Waterloo Street – 83,800 sq ft (7,800 sq m)
- Clydesdale Bank Exchange, Waterloo Street – 96,500 sq ft (9,000 sq m)
- 150 + 200 Broomielaw – 176,000 sq ft (16,300 sq m)
- 141 Bothwell Street – 175,800 sq ft (16,300 sq m)
- 4 + 6 Atlantic Quay – 150,000 sq ft (14,000 sq m)
- Capella Building – 100,000 sq ft (9,300 sq m)
- 1 + 2 Central Quay – 150,000 sq ft (14,000 sq m)
- One Waterloo Street – 58,000 sq ft (5,400 sqm)
- Sky Park at 133 Finnieston Street – suites up to 5,000 sq ft
Completed in 2016, new developments include 3 speculative Grade A office buildings:
- 1 West Regent St (PRUPIM/Mountgrange)
- St Vincent Plaza – within the IFSD (Abstract Securities)
- 110 Queen Street (BAM Properties)
Glasgow is an attractive business location destination for a number of reasons, one of which is that the city offers all the amenities of a large city at a lower cost than in the rest of the UK. Property costs can be up to 4% lower than Manchester, 5% lower than Edinburgh and 75% lower than London (FDI Benchmark).
A number of support schemes may be available to those locating in Glasgow (or the UK). Among these possibilities are:
- R&D assistance
- R&D grants
- R&D tax credits
- Venture capital (e.g., Scottish Venture Fund)
- Patent Box scheme
- Regional Selective Assistance
- Innovation funding (SMART: SCOTLAND, Innovate UK, Business Transformation Fund)
- Scottish Seed Fund (for start-ups with high growth potential)