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Revival plan for city

Plan to bring whisky back to former Teacher head office

New purpose: the former Teacher building is a landmark

A former whisky company headquarters will once again be a place to enjoy a dram under a £6 million plan to convert the building into serviced apartments and a bar.

Developers have submitted the proposal for the landmark 19th century offices and dram shop of William Teacher & Sons in Glasgow’s St Enoch Square which in recent years has been used as a conference centre for the Institute of Engineering and Technology.

The proposal for 25 apartments and a whisky-themed bar and restaurant is seen as part of a wider plan to reinvigorate this part of the city, building on the recently consented hotel developments to the south of the Square.

The iconic ‘Teacher’ gilded sign on the B-listed, Italian Renaissance style building will be refurbished, and an important part of the application is to reinstate the full original signage which also had gilded signs stating ‘Scotch Whisky Distillers’ on the lower levels.

Andre Graham, director of  Big Top Productions, said: “Having identified serviced apartments and hospitality as a key area for development, we are now seeking to grow our portfolio with this exciting development in the heart of Glasgow city centre.

The Teacher building in its heyday

Stephen Mallon, director of Mosaic Architecture + Design, said: “It is an honour to be involved in this prestigious development for Big Top Productions, another major leisure development for the city following the conversion of Dunnes Stores building on Sauchiehall Street for Manor Property Group, which is in for planning, and our Yotel Project for Starwood on Argyle Street, currently on site.

“The design is one we feel is respectful of the existing building, history and context, the idea of a new whisky-themed bar is obvious, given the heritage, and the Teacher brand owners are supportive and keen to be involved in the design aspects of the development.”

Built in 1875, and designed by architect James Boucher, known primarily for his involvement in the design of the Kibble Palace in Glasgow, the existing building is known affectionately to many Glaswegians as the Teacher building.

It was ideally located across the Square from the St Enoch railway station and hotel (now the St Enoch shopping centre) which formed one of the main routes to the south and London St Pancras.

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