Work Begins Uks Largest Regeneration Project This Year

Wednesday, 09 December 2009

As construction schemes around the country stall Glasgow City Council and Dawn Group, in a joint venture with Chiltern Group, are forging ahead with their plan to create Collegelands, an exciting new quarter to the east of the city centre, comprising more than 1,100,000 square feet of commercial and residential development.

Phase 1 is fully funded and major earthworks needed to facilitate the £200m development, believed to be the largest new start regeneration project in the UK during 2009/10, have begun on-site.

Planning permission has already been granted for the first phase of the scheme that includes:

  • All of the site infrastructure for the first two phases of the project,
  • 102,000 square feet of office space,
  • 200 bedroom hotel, with restaurant and meeting rooms etc. to be operated as a Ramada Encore,
  • 250 student accommodation units, offering 600 bed spaces to be operated by Watkins Jones: and a
  • 1,100 space multi-storey car park, to be run by City Parking - one of the Council's arms length external organisations.


It will also feature additional off-street car parking and new internal roads.

The Collegelands development will reclaim the former College Goods Railway Yard, a huge area of derelict land at High Street / Duke Street in the city centre that has lain vacant for more than 25 years. It will create Glasgow's first new city centre district for several decades.

Collegelands is anticipated to act as a catalyst for further regeneration projects and unlock development potential in the area, creating a gateway to Glasgow's East End. An area that is also undergoing major transformation under the Clyde Gateway URC regeneration plans and impending construction of the Commonwealth Games 2014 athletes' village and National Indoor Sports Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.

Following the preparatory work, construction will start in February 2010 and phase 1 is expected to be completed and operational by summer 2011.

The site will generate a major boost to the Glasgow economy including:

  • 2,950 gross additional jobs once the site is fully developed,
  • £110m per annum to the economy,
  • 1,100 construction jobs over the build period.

 In March the Council announced its decision to take up a 25 year lease for 102,000 square feet of office space for use by its Development and Regeneration Services staff as well as those of and Culture & Sport Glasgow.

The Leader of Glasgow City Council, Councillor Steven Purcell, said: "Collegelands beginning on-site is a major regeneration boost within Glasgow, and the East End in particular, which will see the creation of a new gateway to this area.

"Delivering new homes and amenity space for the public and a sizeable amount of commercial and office space, the development of Collegelands will create a vibrant and exciting new area in the city.

"Arguably the UK's biggest urban development to start this year, this project is a good example of the importance of public sector investment supporting new private sector development activity, in these challenging economic times, to maintain momentum in the regeneration of the city.

"This development not only fulfils economic and inward investment aims but also meets wider social and community regeneration objectives."

Chairman of Dawn group, Alan MacDonald, said: "In times like this, Collegelands is a tremendous achievement and testament to how public and private partnerships can work successfully to create employment and economic regeneration among local communities which contributes to the city as a whole. Glasgow continues to show how well it can perform and Dawn Group is proud to be investing in Glasgow."

Once built, City Building, the Council's arms length construction and facilities management company, has secured contracts worth £6m to fit out the office blocks and car park. This gives the firm an opportunity to take on more than 20 apprentices, recruited via the Council's Commonwealth Apprenticeship Initiative.

In addition the office furniture will be manufactured at RSBi, Europe's largest assisted factory facility situated in Springburn, Glasgow, predominantly employing people who have a disability or who have learning difficulties, worth £1m.    

Collegelands will have a unique identity, with a red brick warehouse style, high quality landscaping and a water feature on the southern edge of the development, adjacent to protected leisure and recreational green space.

The design approach was influenced by the heritage of the site: the boundary wall of the former College Goods Yard railway station on Duke Street will remain. This wall, although not listed, has a strong presence on Duke Street and will be enhanced to form a grand arcade along the street.

The development will feature a generous provision of high quality public space, including public squares sheltered by surrounding buildings and landscaped amenity areas alongside a series of large canals.

The Council negotiated a deal in 2006 with developer TDI Ltd (a joint venture company owned by Dawn Group with shareholding held by Chiltern Group) for the site, which extends to some 6.81 hectares. The disposal involves the Council receiving an initial capital sum and profit share, once the development is complete.