A £50 million funding package will see an empty building in Glasgow City Centre transformed into high quality retail and office space, accommodating up to 1,500 workers.
From January, construction work will get underway at 110 Queen Street - a former bank – to create 143,000 sq ft of Grade A offices and 20,000 sq ft of retail space, and will help to support 250 jobs in the sector and 30 apprenticeships over the lifetime of the project.
The project, which is being developed and built by BAM, will receive a £9.6 million loan from the Scottish Partnership for Regeneration in Urban Centres (SPRUCE) Fund, which has been established with Scottish Government and European Regional Development Fund money. The news of the development comes after a recent research report published by Ryden outlined a demand in Glasgow for new office space to enable it to compete effectively with other UK regional cities.
Speaking after making the announcement at the Queen Street site, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Significant city centre developments like today’s £50 million boost for Glasgow are central to stimulating economic growth across Scotland. “This is absolutely imperative in these tough economic times. It is vital that we support opportunities for new business to help create new jobs and also encourage inward investment to Scotland.
“The transformation of this building, due for completion in 2015, will provide much needed high spec office space for Glasgow, which will enable it to compete more effectively with other large cities – and help to attract companies from across the globe.”
John Burke, Executive Director, BAM Construct UK, said: “This is terrific news for Glasgow and the wider construction sector, and is testament to the confidence investors have that BAM can deliver the largest office development to be built outside of London in a number of years. “BAM is also investing £40.4m in this project which will generate spin-off economic activity, both short and long term in the construction sector and supply chain as well as a number of new apprenticeships. The team is keen to get started and will be moving on site on 7 January. “It is our firm belief that this significant development will give Glasgow a competitive advantage by providing new quality office space, which is scarce, to established companies looking for long term growth, and help to attract inward investors to the city”. Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: "The council fast-tracked the planning process for this project and has worked hard with the developer to secure the transformation of this building, so we are delighted with this announcement. "It reflects the private sector's confidence in Glasgow as a place to do business. Attracting new jobs and business to the city is one of the council's key priorities, and to do that we need access to top quality retail and office space like this." Cameron Cook, Head of Origination for Amber Infrastructure in Scotland said:
“We are delighted to announce this investment from the SPRUCE Fund into this important development in Queen Street, Glasgow.
“SPRUCE can play a valuable role in supporting high quality developments in the current constrained funding market, particularly where projects demonstrate sustainability credentials and are contributing to economic growth and jobs creation. We hope to continue to use Amber’s expertise in managing JESSICA funds to successfully invest in the regeneration of eligible areas of Scotland through the SPRUCE Fund.” Background Link to full Ryden research report: www.ryden.co.uk/News/documents/71stScottishPropertyReview.pdf The Scottish Government contribution from the to this project has come from the Scottish Partnership for Regeneration in Urban Centres (SPRUCE) Fund, which has been established with funding of £26m from the Scottish Government and £24m from the European Regional Development Fund.
The fund provides affordable, flexible, repayable loans for project sponsors. Eligible projects will be located within the 13 local authority areas in the Lowlands and the Uplands of Scotland as determined by the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation. The SPRUCE Fund is designed to lever significant co-investment from the public and private sectors in supporting urban renewal and employment growth through revenue generating projects.