Scotland's biggest city's £1billion university opportunity

September 21st 2018


Scotland’s largest city generated £19.3 billion GVA in 2014, the largest of any Scottish city.

Glasgow’s five institutions of higher education and three colleges produce some of Scotland’s brightest minds and strong engagement between academia and employers guarantees a robust talent pipeline of employment-ready graduates.

From modern, award winning, waterfront offices with large floor spaces, to the very best refurbished city centre offices, Glasgow can provide a truly sustainable and competitively-priced working environment with excellent transport and digital connectivity.

There is a critical mass of expertise, passion and innovation in Glasgow. Combined with 21st century infrastructure and significant and sustained levels of public sector investment, investors will enjoy enhanced return on investment in Glasgow.


The University of Glasgow occupies more than 70 acres of prime city campus in the West End of the city just three miles from the city centre and served by excellent public transport options including subway, bus and rail. Just seven miles from Glasgow International Airport, the University has easy access to London and some 120 international destinations.

Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow is the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world. Ranked in the top 1% of the world’s universities, it is the first and only UK university to be rated as 5 Stars Plus overall.

The University is one of the largest employers in the west of Scotland with more than 6,000 staff including 2,250 active researchers generating more than £200 million (€224 million) of research income per year. The University’s overall impact of Scotland’s GDP equates to around £509 million (€570 million) which includes 13,300 direct and indirect jobs.

Following the acquisition of the adjoining 14-acre former Western Infirmary hospital site, the University will expand and transform its campus as part of a £1 billion development plan into a globally recognised iconic place of learning and research enhancing their position as a world-class leading institution.

Over the last five years, the University has undertaken considerable due diligence including the creation of a detailed campus development framework and formation of a comprehensive estates strategy.

In addition to over 82,000m² (883,000ft²) of academic space, the Masterplan provides over 53,100m² (572,000ft²) of commercial and amenity uses. This exciting commercial development will comprise a true mixed-use prospect from hotel to residential, retail and leisure.

The University is also working in Partnership with Glasgow City Council and Scottish Enterprise to bring together culture, creative industries, science and industry to develop a unique innovation district with the University at the heart of proposal.


This major mixed use development offers significant commercial investment opportunities

. Residential (incl student) – 14,500m²

. Hotel(s) – 12,500m²

. Retail – 4,000m²

. Sports and recreation – 500m²

The above will be co-located with 65,000m² of new teaching and learning facilities, 18,000m² of commercial research and office space and 17,000m² of research facilities, as well as food and drink, day nursery/crèche and financial services facilities.


The University of Glasgow has recently commenced the construction of its first major project being a new Learning and Teaching hub at a cost of £90 million (€108 million). The 16,640m² facility will increase large teaching capacity and student study space on campus.

Peel Developments are proposing a large mixed-use development at the nearby Glasgow Harbour including retail, leisure and residential. A first phase of student development is currently under construction.

The proposed Glasgow City Deal monies will help transform the west end of Glasgow through providing improved streetscape and infrastructure and potentially a new bridge connecting the north and south banks of the River Clyde.

Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Glasgow boasts a rich cultural, educational and commercial history with an established reputation for creativity, invention and innovation, attributes on which our world-class universities and businesses continue to build.

“This is a young, vibrant and exciting 21st city where people increasingly choose to live and invest. The top retail centre in the UK outside London, a global entertainment hotspot, emerging digital technology superstar and one of the UK’s top destinations for FDI – as illustrated by this summer’s decision by Barclays - Glasgow is experiencing a surge in demand for new office space, hotels and homes of all tenure.

“We will be delighted to speak to you about investment opportunities in Clyde Gateway, the University of Glasgow, and our Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District - and indeed anywhere in Glasgow – and tell you about the fantastic environment for business and investment that we have created. We look forward to meeting you!”

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