A landmark Glasgow building is set to be transformed after a £60m plan to create a tech and digital hub was approved.
Bruntwood Sci Tech has been granted permission to revamp the Met Tower – which has been wrapped in “People Make Glasgow” branding since the 2014 Commonwealth Games – by Glasgow City Council.
The B-listed former Glasgow College of Building and Printing has been empty for a decade, and was bought by Bruntwood, a property firm working in the science and technology sectors, for £16.2m last year.
New images show how the tech hub will look after the redevelopment, which is expected to be completed in time to open the building in winter 2025. It is hoped “tech and digital university spin-outs, start-up and scale-ups” will be located alongside global tech businesses, creating an “innovative, collaborative tech cluster”.
Bruntwood will also build a ten-storey tower which will connect to the Met Tower via a new “wellbeing plaza space”. Between the two towers, there will be more than 200,000 square feet of office space.
Enabling works have already begun and construction is expected to start in spring next year. The Met Tower plan includes a 60-person rooftop flexible event space, a breakout lounge for all start-ups, scale-ups and large businesses and a 16-person boardroom.
Daron Williams, building consultancy director at Bruntwood SciTech, said: “Glasgow is already on its way to becoming a world-leading tech hub and one of the UK’s fastest growing clusters, and with approval of our plans now confirmed we’re very much looking forward to the Met Tower becoming the beacon for the tech community in the city.”
He added the tower “couldn’t be better placed”, surrounded by “two brilliant universities, an exceptional college, and several established alternative training providers who will ensure that the businesses who locate to Met Tower can tap into a strong, highly skilled talent pool”.
The developers have said the Met Tower’s “recognisable ‘upside down boat’ structure” will be retained and transformed into a 60-person lounge and event space, with floor to ceiling windows. There will also be a wellness and treatment room, a cafe and a multi-faith space.
In the new tower, there are plans for offices, a breakout, a retail unit and a roof terrace. It will also have access to the Met Tower’s facilities.
Council leader Susan Aitken said the Met Tower project is “a huge vote of confidence in Glasgow’s growing reputation as an international centre of innovation, creativity and opportunity”.
“It also recognises our vision for a changing city centre, one with new industries and new purposes and where innovation and technology are brought into the heart of city life.”
She added: “Met Tower has been a Glasgow icon for 60 years and Bruntwood SciTech’s investment in this landmark will ensure it remains a symbol of the city for generations to come.”
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