Developing Glasgow: £60 million plans shelved to transform Glasgow's 'ugliest building'

The Met Tower near George Square will no longer be transformed into a “digital and tech hub”

A £60 million plan to transform Glasgow’s Met Tower has been halted due to challenging economic circumstances.

We had previously reported that the building on North Hanover Street was to be redeveloped into a science and technology hub with the images below displaying what that was meant to look like.

Bruntwood SciTech bought the premises for £16.2 million in 2022, announcing plans for 200,000sq ft of office space and a "dedicated digital and tech hub in the heart of the city". Previously, plans had been lodged to convert the city centre landmark into a hotel.

The proposals included a new 10-storey tower which would have interconnected with the Met Tower via a new wellbeing plaza space. Demolition work had begun to clear the site for this part of the development. When it opened as the Stow College of Building in 1964, the North Hannover Street premises was one of the first commercial high-rises in the city. It later underwent a merger becoming, as many will know it, the Glasgow College of Building and Printing. The proposed £60 million investment was supposed to see Bruntwood SciTech bring the current Grade B-listed building back into use and open in Summer 2025, following a 10-year period of vacancy, and construct the new, adjacent building set to open in 2026. It was intended as a central pillar of the city centre strategy for the rest of the decade.

The Daily Record report that plans are now set to be scaled back to a residential option.

A spokesperson for Bruntwood SciTech 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.

“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.”

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.