A site that is set to become Glasgow’s largest single office building has started the installation of three acres of glazing on its exterior.

The move is described as a significant milestone and comes after construction was paused due to coronavirus.

HFD Group’s 177 Bothwell Street facade - equivalent to the size of nearly 50 tennis courts - is predominantly made from recyclable glass and aluminium.

Made of almost 40% recycled material, the glass has a low iron content to ensure it is the clearest and most colourless available, making the best use of natural daylight throughout the office building.

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The glazing will be installed using an innovative monorail system to erect the panels, which is the first time this technique has been used in Scotland.

Despite the pandemic causing a temporary halt in construction to protect workers’ health, 177 Bothwell Street is beginning to take shape with significant progress made on its steel frame.

HFD Group recently announced a series of enhanced design features focussed on hygiene, health and wellbeing, removing many of the building’s "touch points" and using technology to simplify occupiers’ experience of the building.

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Set for completion in Q3 2021, a large section of 177 Bothwell Street has been pre-let to Virgin Money for its new headquarters, while HFD Group’s serviced offices business will occupy 65,000 sq ft in the building.

An independent economic impact assessment concluded that the development will generate £2.8 billion of gross value added (GVA) to the Scottish economy over 25 years.

David Shearer, managing director of HFD Construction, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic caused a temporary halt to construction – a decision we took early to protect the health and wellbeing of our workers and contractors.

"Despite that challenge, we have made significant progress with the construction programme following our return to site and have been working closely with our supply chain to ensure the safety of everyone involved.”

Stephen Lewis, managing director of HFD Property Group, added: “With 177 Bothwell Street’s extensive floorplates, it is important from a wellbeing perspective to maximise the natural light coming into the space.

"Specifying the highest performance glazing is a key part of achieving the environmental and sustainability standards we have set for the building.

“The selection of the right glazing means that day-lighting is enhanced, without compromising on temperature regulation and energy consumption at different times of year.”

Watches of Switzerland has hailed sales at its sites across the country, which includes Scotland.

It said sales outside of London had helped the luxury retailer offset a drop in the capital as sales rose by 4.8% in the year to April 26.

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Glasgow-born chief executive Brian Duffy, a former director of Celtic Football Club, also said that sales have rebounded strongly since stores reopened in the UK and US, and that the first quarter "exceeded expectations".

The firm last month opened Scotland's first boutique dedicated to luxury watch brand Rolex in Glasgow.

The company said it now expects revenue to be around £840 million to £860 million in this financial year in its update.

Shares rose 19% on the news.

Ladbrokes owner GVC has taken a major hit to its profits after betting shops across the world were closed and sporting events cancelled during the depths of the pandemic.

The company revealed that underlying pre-tax profit was down by 74% to £55.4 million in a first half that was overshadowed by the Covid-19 crisis.

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Chief executive Shay Segev said that, in the face of all the problems, the business could take heart from the results.

"Given the unprecedented trading environment, GVC has delivered an encouraging performance in the first half, underlining the strength of our diversified business model and the expertise, adaptability and dedication of our people," he said.

The diverse business model includes GVC's online betting, which saw a strong six months as many people were stuck at home.

Online net gaming revenue was up 19%, with online sports revenue up by 5%.

This came despite an overall 11% drop in net gaming revenue to £1.6 billion.

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