4 September 2020/ Area guides

Office leasing guide: Glasgow

Offices to rent in Glasgow

Vibrant and historic Glasgow, the third biggest city in the UK, has plenty to offer its commercial residents. Scotland’s most populous city has expanded from a small rural settlement on the River Clyde into a booming and modern place to live and work. Whether you’re looking for a creative and well-connected Scottish base or want to occupy a spot in one of the country’s most notable financial services districts, Glasgow could be the ideal home for your office.

Industry was once king in Glasgow and shipbuilding was a major source of employment for many of its residents as early as the 15th century. The city expanded into a major port and goods would flow in and out from all across the world, causing it to become one of the first urban areas in Europe to reach one million residents. By the end of the 19th century, vast shipyards lined the River Clyde, but the sector went into decline after WWII.

Now, Glasgow is better known as one of Europe’s cultural capitals. From the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum to The Lighthouse to the architecture of Merchant City to Glasgow Necropolis, there’s so much to explore when the working day is done. If you’re looking for an office in Glasgow, here’s everything you need to know about this exciting city.

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Key business areas

Glasgow’s City Centre is where you’ll find many of its most notable commercial residents, as lots of the city’s impressive offices are concentrated here. Different kinds of businesses can be found all across the city, however. The International Financial Services District (IFSD) is located in an area called the Broomielaw on the banks of the River Clyde, which underwent a £1 billion renovation project in the late 2000s. It’s now home to offices occupied by notable financial services companies, including Direct Line Group, JP Morgan and NFU Mutual.

Blythswood Square is also a popular place for commercial tenants as it’s right in the heart of Glasgow. Whether your business is creative, traditional or cutting-edge, offices close to this central spot will allow you to enjoy the bustling atmosphere of the city centre. And with three rail stations within 10 minutes’ walk, it’s an easy place to reach too.

Finnieston is popular among young creatives and is a great place to base yourself if you’re looking for a less central location. It’s tucked between the City Centre and the West End, so you’ll still be close to many of the city’s amenities. It’s also bursting with eateries, ideal for meetings and laidback lunches, and shops for lunchtime strolls.

Getting around Glasgow

There are two main train stations in GlasgowGlasgow Central Station and Glasgow Queen Street Station are the busiest transport centres in the city, and you can travel across the country from them. You can also hop across the city by rail, as there are more than 186 stations across Greater Glasgow, giving it one of the densest numbers of rail stations outside London.

Glasgow is home to the third oldest underground network in the worldOnly the London Underground and Budapest Metro stood before Glasgow’s expansive network was built in 1896. It has 15 stations that run in a ring around the city, and it takes just 24 minutes to complete an entire lap of the network.

First Bus operates services in Greater GlasgowMore than 100 services run across the city and its surrounding suburbs, so you can easily travel between Glasgow’s districts for both work and play. The main bus station is Buchanan Bus Station on Killermont Street. Here, you can catch both local services and long-distance services to other cities in the UK and across Europe.

Glasgow is a bike-friendly cityGlasgow’s grid layout makes it easy to navigate on your own, so it’s a great place to commute by bike. If you’re just dipping your toe into cycling, you can hire one of its NextBikes, available 24/7 from 50 locations across the city.

Glasgow Airport is just 20 minutes outside the city centreIf you’re travelling via the M8, you can get there in as little as 15 minutes. You can also travel via bus, which will take around 20 minutes. From the airport, you can travel across the UK and to many short-haul destinations across Europe. It’s also a convenient way to get to London if you’re travelling for business, with flights taking less than an hour and a half.

Business amenities

There are lots of great hotels in Glasgow

Glasgow City Centre is packed with plenty of upmarket and affordable hotels that are perfect for business travel and meetings. The historic Grand Central Hotel has more than 230 rooms and 21 event and meeting spaces, while the futuristic YOTEL Glasgow has plenty of flexible meeting and co-working spaces to use. You’ll also find a central Radisson BLU, Doubletree by Hilton, Marriott and Crowne Plaza, as well as independent places to meet and stay all across Glasgow.

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Glasgow has restaurants for everyone

You can find a restaurant or café for every taste and occasion across Glasgow. Lengthy Argyle Street, which stretches for almost three and a half kilometres, is the city’s main dining hub. Indulge in Italian at Mora Bar and Kitchen, enjoy bistro dining at Fanny Trollopes or sample plant-based treats at The Glasvegan.

If you’re looking to enjoy local tastes during a professional lunch or dinner, head to Ubiquitous Chip or Cail Bruich for exceptional, high-end Scottish fayre. But if you fancy somewhere laidback with great food, visit Julie’s Kopitiam, a tiny Malaysian eatery founded by a MasterChef contestant, The Hanoi Bike Shop for a communal dining experience or sip coffee and eat cakes at Kember & Jones.

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There are plenty of meeting spaces in Glasgow

As you’d expect in such a busy city, there are loads of places to meet across Glasgow. You can opt for traditional spaces such as The Studio Glasgow on Hope Street, which has capacity for up to 97 people and in-house catering, and Melville at Landmark, which is available 24/7 and can seat up to 16 in either a boardroom or U-shaped configuration.

Looking for something with a little more flair? The industrial-style WEST on the Green space is perfect for creative brainstorms or events, as there’s space for up to 200 seats or standing capacity and a 15ft high wall of glass overlooking the building’s very own brewery.

Offices, serviced offices and co-working spaces in Glasgow

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Evening entertainment in Glasgow

If you’re looking to let your hair down after a busy day of work, there are plenty of things to do in Glasgow. You’ll find bars and restaurants in the Merchant City area, including cocktail bar Metropolitan Bar and Restaurant, Gin71 Glasgow and The Beer Café. Alternatively, head to The West End for an evening exploring its trendy boutiques, eateries, book shops and cinema. In the mood for a show? The historic Theatre Royal Glasgow, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and King’s Theatre host regular stage shows and concerts, or catch a cutting-edge show at Platform, a venue in converted railway arches.

Other amenities nearby

Glasgow’s so-called Style Mile in the City Centre, around Buchanan and Argyle Streets, is where you’ll find many of its shops. You can explore St. Enoch Centre, Buchanan Galleries and Princes Square shopping centres, which are home to high-street and high-end stores for every taste. If independent stores are more your style, the West End’s cobbled streets are home to plenty of local shops ready to explore during a lunchtime or after-work wander.

You’ll also find plenty of places to keep fit in Glasgow. There are budget options like PureGym, Xercise4Less and The Gym dotted across the city, as well as upmarket places like Nuffield Health and the LivingWell Health Club.

Key office occupiers

  • Clydesdale Bank
  • Scottish Power
  • Arnold Clark
  • Abellio Scotrail
  • BT

Key agents

  • Ryden
  • Savills
  • CBRE
  • Graham & Sibbald
  • Avison Young

Interesting facts about Glasgow

Glasgow played host to the world’s first international football match in 1872, which saw Scotland and England reach a disappointing 0 – 0 draw at the Hamilton Crescent grounds in Partick.

The oldest swimming pool in the world, The Arlington Baths Club, has been open in Glasgow since 1871.

The Kelvin Scale, a way to measure extremely cold temperatures, got its name from the River Kelvin, which runs past the university where physicist William Thomson came up with the concept.

History is protected in the Hyndland area of Glasgow, as the Tenement Conservation Area prevents its flats being demolished in favour of new developments.

Kingston Bridge is said to be the busiest in Europe, carrying around 150,000 vehicles over the River Clyde every single day.