A £20m bid to transform the old High School of Glasgow site into a five-star hotel and wedding venue has been launched by a hospitality firm.
Scotsman Group, previously G1, has asked Glasgow City Council for permission to redevelop the former school site — last used as police offices — on Elmbank Street and Holland Street.
The major revamp would include a public bar and restaurant, a spa with pool and gym, 21 serviced apartments and 142 bedrooms.
Landowners City Property, which manages the council’s surplus property, put the complex on the market in 2019.
“Offers were sought on the basis of a long ground lease agreement,” the planning application stated. “Scotsman Group was the successful bidder in this development opportunity.”
Scotsman Group, owned by businessman Stefan King, already has a number of Glasgow venues, including the Corinthian Club, Hillhead Bookclub, Arta, Grosvenor Cafe and Oran Mor.
It acquired and refurbished the The Scotsman Hotel in Edinburgh, which previously housed The Scotsman newspaper, in 2017.
The firm believes the old High School presents “a unique opportunity for Scotsman Group to bring The Scotsman Hotel Brand to Glasgow”.
“Scotsman Group is excited by the potential to create a stunning destination which complements their wider portfolio and experience with bespoke listed buildings,” the plans stated.
Construction on the site, which includes A-listed buildings, dates back to 1846 but it has “fallen into a state of disrepair” since Police Scotland relocated in 2013.
Work would be carried out over five stages, with the first two phases focused on the serviced apartments and hotel. Function rooms would then be created before the gatehouse buildings were turned into a public bar.
The final stage would see an unlisted building demolished to make way for a spa with pool, gym and treatment rooms. The final 16 hotel rooms would be developed on the upper floors.
Scotsman Group has said 176 permanent jobs will be created in the hotel.
The application added: “The proposals have been developed with a view to reinvigorating existing building stock and reimagining the building use and overall development to ensure a sustainable and flexible future for decades to come.
“After nine years remaining derelict and deteriorating rapidly, this development requires significant investment to ensure the longevity of the building stock and the celebration of this piece of architectural history nestled within the city centre.
“The future vision for this area intends to build on the approved developments in the vicinity and redevelop a once cherished architectural gem to create a high-end public facility befitting the prominent historical mark the building complex has made in the city.”
The High School of Glasgow closed in 1976 following “reorganisation of education” by Strathclyde Regional Council. Following this decision, an independent school, with the same name, was opened, and is now based on Crow Road.
The Elmbank Street site was used as council offices until the abolishment of regional councils in 1996, when it was taken on by the police.
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