A guide to serviced offices and office space for rent in Glasgow as well as general information that may be useful if you are thinking of renting office space in the city.
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and is located on the River Clyde in Scotland’s west central lowlands.
Glasgow was known as the ‘Second City of the British Empire’ for much of the Victorian era and Edwardian period. Today it is one of Europe’s top twenty financial centres and is home to many of Scotland’s major businesses.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries Glasgow grew to a population of over one million, and was the fourth-largest city in Europe, after London, Paris and Berlin. In the 1960s, large-scale relocation to peripheral suburbs and new towns, followed by successive boundary changes, reduced the current population of the City of Glasgow unitary authority area to 580,690, with 1,199,628 people living in the Greater Glasgow urban area. The entire region surrounding the conurbation covers approximately 2.3 million people, 41% of Scotland’s population.
The Commonwealth Games in 2014 will be held in Glasgow. The Games will run from 24th July to 3rd August 2014 and will be the largest multi-sport event ever held in Scotland. The games are expected to be a major boost to the Glasgow economy.
Glasgow has the largest economy in Scotland, the city also has the third largest GDP Per Capita in the UK, after London and Edinburgh.
According to Glasgow for Business’ ‘Glasgow Economic Review 2009’; Glasgow’s stock of VAT registered companies increased from 12,805 in 2005 to 13,750 in 2008. This 7.4% increase is in line with the UK and Scotland averages (7.1% and 7.4% respectively) and compares well to the 2001 to 2004 period when Glasgow experienced only a 1.1% growth of stock compared to the 4.6% increase at the UK level and the 2.7% posted for Scotland.
Glasgow Tower, Scotland’s tallest tower, and the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) highlight the increase in the importance of tourism to the city’s economy.
Whilst manufacturing has declined, Glasgow’s economy has seen significant relative advance of tertiary sector industries such as financial and business services, communications, biosciences, creative industries, healthcare, higher education, retail and tourism.
Glasgow is now the second most popular foreign tourist destination in Scotland and its largest retail centre.
Between 1998 and 2001, the city’s financial services sector grew at a rate of 30%, making considerable gains on Edinburgh, which historically has been the centre of the Scottish financial sector. Glasgow is now one of Europe’s sixteen largest financial centres.
The last 20 years has seen a substantial growth in the number of call centres based in Glasgow. In 2007 roughly 20,000 people, a third of all call centre employees in Scotland, were employed by Glasgow call centres.
Drivers Jonas’ Office Trends UK Key Cities 2009 report states; Glasgow has experienced a decrease in demand as occupiers adopted a “wait-and-see” approach to relocation plans as the economic slowdown continued. Take-up for the year finished 15% lower year-on-year with a total of 700,000 sq ft leasehold office space transacting.
There were no new development completions during the year and this lack of activity has resulted in Grade A availability levels falling to a record low.
With such limited supply, prime rental levels rose by 4% during the year to £28.50 per sq ft with 24 months rent free being offered on a ten year lease term.
According to Ewan M Caroll, Glasgow Regional Partner at Ryden, (cited in Glasgow For Business ‘Glasgow Economic Review of Nov 2009); at the end of 2009 there was active but speculative demand for circa 750,000 sq ft of office space from occupiers seeking upwards of 10,000 sq ft in the city centre and greater Glasgow area. A number of these enquiries are public sector and in the current environment of budget constraints, there must be more than a little doubt as to whether such enquiries will actually proceed to take space in the short term.
Drivers Jonas’ Report advises that in a highly competitive market, and with tenants becoming more cost-sensitive, developers will be improving their offers to tenants who are willing to commit to space. DJ research forecasted an 8% rental decline by the end of the year and incentives to increase to as much as 28 months rent-free on a 10 year term.
The city has many bus services. The main bus terminal in the city is Buchanan bus station.
Glasgow has the most extensive urban rail network in the UK outside of London with rail services travelling to a large part of the West of Scotland. Central Station and Queen Street Station are the two main railway terminals. Most services within Scotland including the main line to Edinburgh, plus services to Aberdeen, Dundee, Inverness and the Western Highlands, operate from Queen Street station.
The city is served by Glasgow International Airport 8 miles west of the city centre.
Travel time from Glasgow to London is 1hr 30 minutes by plane and 4hr 30 minutes by train.
Landmarks and Tourism
The world’s first international football match was held at the West of Scotland Cricket Club’s Hamilton Crescent ground in the Partick area of the city in 1872. The match, between Scotland and England finished 0–0.
Glasgow has three professional football clubs; Celtic, Rangers, (together known as the ‘Old Firm’), and Partick Thistle.
The tradition of football in the city, as well as the standing of the ‘Old Firm’, attracts many visitors to football matches in the city throughout the season.
In recent years, the success of music bands such as Belle & Sebastian, Biffy Clyro, Franz Ferdinand, Snow Patrol, Travis and Primal Scream has significantly boosted the profile of the Glasgow music scene. The city of Glasgow was appointed a UNESCO City of Music in 2008 as part of the Creative Cities Network.
Glasgow is home to a variety of theatres including The King’s Theatre, Theatre Royal and the Citizen’s Theatre and is home to many municipal museums and art galleries, the most famous being the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) and the Burrell Collection.