Met Tower, a Glasgow landmark, will be transformed into a hub for digital and tech businesses, the building’s owner has revealed.
The £30-million transformation project from Bruntwood SciTech, the building’s owner, will transform the tower into a hub where university spinouts, startups, scaleups, and large leading tech businesses can co-locate together.
In addition, the company has said it plans to make Met Tower a net zero 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.
With 113,000 sq ft of coworking, serviced and leased office space, the Met Tower will also provide Glasgow tech companies with a shared breakout space on the ground floor, showers, lockers, secure cycle store and sports kit drying room, as well as a rooftop lounge to be used by its future community. It will also offer a café and other food & beverage amenities.
Bruntwood SciTech bought the 14-storey former College of Building and Printing tower from property developer Osborne+Co for £16.2m, making it the company’s first Scottish investment.
The building, which bares an eye-catching purple banner with the slogan “People make Glasgow,” has been vacant since 2014.
Businesses based at Met Tower will be able to access Bruntwood SciTech’s UK-wide network of innovation districts. This includes a 500-strong specialist community of tech and science businesses, and will be provided with their specialist Innovation Services support, including access to highly skilled STEM talent, new markets, funding and finance support and professional services advice.
The company currently maintains a network of innovation districts based at eleven campuses in seven cities – Birmingham, Cambridge, Cheshire, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, and Oxford.
Work is expected to start later this year, subject to planning, and complete in 2024.
Kate Lawlor, chief executive of Bruntwood SciTech, said: “Glasgow has one of Europe’s most exciting, diverse tech and digital clusters with exceptional higher education institutions and clinical assets. Met Tower is in a brilliant location for these types of businesses and is perfectly placed to help create a hub in which they can scale, co-innovate and thrive.
“Glasgow’s science and tech sector is rapidly growing, having seen 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.
“Our investment in Glasgow is for the long term, and as we’ve demonstrated in our other cities, we are committed to becoming embedded and driving forwards the growth of the knowledge economy and economic impact of the sector both in Glasgow and other parts of Scotland. This is our first in hopefully several brilliant projects in the country.”