Project setback

Met Tower tech hub plan shelved over rising costs

Met Tower in Glasgow is to be turned into Grade A office space
The Met Tower has been empty since 2014

A £60 million project to convert the vacant Met Tower in Glasgow city centre into a technology hub has been shelved because of challenging economic conditions.

Bruntwood SciTech, a property company focused on the science and technology sector, was behind ambitious plans for the 14-storey former College of Building and Printing building which has been empty for ten years.

It intended to turn the Grade B tower into 113,000 sq ft of co-working space for expanding tech and digital businesses with an additional tower and plans for a publicly-accessible landscaped plaza between the two buildings.

News that the project has been cancelled is a huge setback and comes just days before the start of Glasgow Tech Week which aims to promote the city as a thriving centre for new industries.

The building was acquired from property developer Osborne + Co in 2022 and a residential option is now under consideration.

In a statement the company said: “Since our acquisition of Met Tower in 2022, there have been significant changes to the economic climate and construction market caused by inflation and high interest rates, both of which have created viability challenges.

Plans to convert the Met Tower and build a second block have been cancelled

“Like any responsible developer we have to be flexible and respond to changing circumstances, which means accepting our original vision for the building to create an office workspace is not feasible in the current climate. It is a difficult decision and one we have not taken lightly.

“From our first day in the city, we have been made to feel so welcome by the Glasgow community, and would like to extend specific thanks to Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Chamber of Commerce.

“We recognise the iconic position of this building, the opportunity it provides for the city, and the need for it to be brought back to life as soon as possible. We are grateful to all those who have supported us with the planning to date and are working with us to look at all the available options for Met Tower’s future.”

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: “While it is disappointing that the proposed Met Tower project will not now take place to join the series of recently completed developments in the city centre, we will be working with partners with a view to do all that we can to help deliver a sustainable redevelopment of the building and site as quickly as possible.”

Paul Sweeney, Labour MSP for Glasgow, said: “With rival cities such as Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool powering ahead with such investments, Glasgow is at serious risk of falling further behind in its growth and development.

“I met with Bruntwood SciTech’s CEO this morning to discuss what can be done to help them find a way forward and to realise this ambitious project for Glasgow. I am eager to work with all partners in the city to see the Met Tower back in use as quickly as possible after a decade of disuse.”

When it opened in North Hanover Street in 1964 as the Stow College of Building it was one of the first commercial high-rises in the city.

Glasgow Tech Week runs between 13-18 May, and includes conferences, panels, breakfast sessions, workshops and networking events across the city supported by Glasgow City Innovation District (GCID). The headline event, Glasgow Tech Fest, takes place on Thursday 16 May.

Events are being held in collaboration with KPMG, AND Digital, Black and Scot, Cooper Parry and Johnston Carmichael as part of the diverse programme that includes investment and pitching as well as diversity and equality.

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