Plans for the revamped Met Tower in Glasgow have been unveiled – with the £60m redevelopment set to become the focal point for the tech sector in the city.
The iconic tower near George Square will become a dedicated hub for startups and established technology and innovation businesses when it reopens in summer 2025.
The two-year construction project is being overseen by Bruntwood SciTech, the UK’s leading property provider dedicated to the growth of the science and technology sector.
Their proposals include the refurbishment of the former City of Glasgow College building as well as detailed plans for a new, adjoining tower which collectively will create a new ‘technology and digital hub’ in the heart of Glasgow’s city centre and Glasgow City Innovation District.
The Grade B listing building, which has not been occupied for 10 years, will be complemented by a new high-rise tower offering more than 200,000 sq ft of serviced and leased office space to supercharge the growth of the city’s tech sector.
Enabling works on the site are already underway, with work on Met Tower expected to commence this winter, subject to planning.
The plans for Met Tower will see the iconic structure transformed into a commercial hub where tech and digital university spinouts, startups, scaleups, and high-profile tech businesses can co-locate and benefit from being part of an innovative, collaborative tech cluster, with world-class workspace available for two people through to large businesses requiring multiple 10,000 sq ft floors.
Mark Logan, the author of the Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review (STER) and Scotland’s ‘chief entrepreneur’, welcomed the development.
He said: “Bruntwood SciTech’s development, including the transformation of Met Tower, is such an exciting addition to Glasgow’s and Scotland’s technology sector. Many of Europe’s most admired future companies will be born of this initiative, and will thrive because of it.”
Pete Crowther, property director of Bruntwood SciTech, said: “Met Tower is the perfect location to build a new tech and digital cluster in Glasgow; not only is it located mere 50m from Queen Street Station, it’s in the heart of the Glasgow City Innovation District surrounded by two exceptional universities and the College, where future talent and some of the most exciting university spin-outs in Scotland and all of the UK can be found.
“We’ve already been establishing relationships so that as soon as Met Tower opens its doors businesses have direct access into places for collaboration opportunities and to access highly skilled STEM talent.
“We’re delighted to reach this milestone and unveil our vision for Met Tower and the new building, where there will be world-class spaces available for all sizes of tech and digital business, whether you’re a startup or a global household name, all with the same access to a host of standout facilities and amenities. We know that Glasgow is on its way to becoming a world-leading hub for tech and hope Met Tower can support in galvanising this momentum.”
Bruntwood has 11 campuses spread across seven UK cities, including Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Cambridge and Liverpool.
Businesses locating to the new cluster will gain access to that UK-wide network of innovation districts, enabling them to collaborate with 500 tech and science businesses.
The existing 110,000 sq ft 14-storey Met Tower will be redeveloped to offer 2-40 person serviced offices and larger leased office space, accompanied with multiple meeting rooms including a 16 person boardroom, flexible breakout spaces, a wellness and treatment room, grab and go cafe, and multi-faith room.
Met Tower’s recognisable ‘upside down boat’ roof structure will be retained and transformed into a 60-person lounge and double height event space with floor to ceiling windows, innovation hub, and an expansive view that will reach as far as Ben Lomond. The leased space available on the first floor will have its own private entrance onto a new plaza space, whilst the 13th floor has its own unique, private staircase directly into the lounge and event space above.
The 95,000 sq ft new 10 storey tower will offer medium-large office spaces, along with breakout space opening out into the new plaza, a grab and go cafe, speed gates for additional security, a secondary retail space, and a roof terrace, with direct access into all facilities in Met Tower.
Both buildings will be interconnected by a double height atrium which will provide wellbeing and leisure facilities, including a wellness workout studio and wellbeing breakout lounge, showers, changing facilities and a sports kit drying room, and a large internal secure cycle store with repair and maintenance stations. The landscaped space between the buildings and in front of Met Tower will become public open spaces for the city to improve connectivity to and from the neighbouring Queen Street station on North Hanover Street.
Bruntwood SciTech’s commitment to Glasgow mirrors that of its shareholder Legal & General which has also identified the city as a key opportunity to invest and support the UK Government’s Levelling Up agenda. It has already forward funded 324 build to rent apartments within Glasgow’s new Buchanan Wharf waterside regeneration area and a new 187,000 sq ft hub for the UK civil service at Atlantic Square, Argyll Street.
A local team has been appointed to work with Bruntwood SciTech on the redevelopment of Met Tower and the new tower, consisting of Cooper Cromar, Woolgar Hunter, Atelier Ten, Savills, Ryden, and Thomas & Adamson, and supported by a wider team of consultants.