FANDUEL, the US-focused fantasy sports provider, has declared ambitious plans to employ 200 software specialists in Glasgow as it announced it is to open its first office in the city.

The move comes as the company looks to double its workforce in Scotland this year, having already grown its team in Edinburgh to 89 staff from 60 since January.

It now has more than 230 staff across the UK and US, where it has offices in New York, LA and Orlando, up from 125 at the start of the year.

The company, headed by Northern Ireland-born Nigel Eccles, has leased an 8,450 square foot, Grade A office at the 2 West Regent Street building in Glasgow. It said the ability to have access to IT professionals was a key reason behind its decision to come to the city.

FanDuel is hiring for its UK-based engineering team and has positions available in Glasgow and Edinburgh for experts in programming languages such as java and python.

The firm emphasised that while it was hiring "aggressively" it would not compromise on candidate quality.

Its decision to open in Glasgow comes shortly after Edinburgh-based tech business Skyscanner, the travel search specialist, made a similar move.

Skyscanner noted the city's shopping, social and cultural attributes were a big attraction to staff as it explained the decision to move to an office in St Vincent Street.

FanDuel's office is currently being fitted out, with its interior expected to emulate the Silicon Valley style already in place at its Edinburgh office. It expects to open the office in the next two months.

Mr Eccles said: "We are very pleased to have found a home in Glasgow. We know most Glasgow-

based engineers have no wish to relocate, so it makes perfect sense for us to open an office here.

"We have worked hard to create a culture that inspires great work and promotes a healthy work-life balance and 2 West Regent Street will enable us to do that in a fast-paced environment. I pay tribute to the partner-led approach adopted by Shepherd, which enabled us to identify the deal pretty quickly."

Shepherd, the Scottish chartered surveying practice, negotiated a 10-year lease on the office for FanDuel with landlord KW West Regent.

Steve Barnett, Shepherd's managing partner, said the deal underlines the resurgent demand for prime space in the city after the difficult years that followed the recession.

He also highlighted the straight forward connection that 2 West Regent Street offers to FanDuel's existing office in Edinburgh, and the ability to access to tap into talent in the Glasgow area.

Mr Barnett said: "I am delighted to have helped FanDuel identify this excellent accommodation which, located in the heart of the city centre within a short walk of both Queen Street Station and Central Station, meets its specific occupational requirements.

"It was important to FanDuel that the accommodation could offer employees a quality, modern and unique working environment to complement its state of the art fit-out within its Edinburgh office.

"Every aspect of 2 West Regent Street has been carefully considered to provide exceptional office accommodation and, as such, perfectly meets FanDuel's requirements."

FanDuel, which began life in 2009, allows players the chance to win cash prizes by picking teams to take part in fantasy games for American sports such as baseball, grid iron, basketball and ice hockey.

It is believed to have revolutionised the US fantasy sports market, which has about 41 million active players, by allowing people to play daily, in contrast to the traditional season by season model.

Last year the company gave out $560m in prize money and is projected to lift that to $1.5bn this year. It currently has an active player base of 1.1m, with the games played only in the US.

The company is growing at a rate of 300 per cent year on year, a spokeswoman said.