A MAJOR development at a landmark site in Glasgow city centre has taken a significant step forward with the start of on-site works for The Student Hotel’s first-ever complex in the UK.

The hotel is part of the Candleriggs Square development, Drum Property Group’s £300 million regeneration project in the heart of Merchant City on the site of the former Goldberg’s department store. Developer Drum Property Group noted this is "one of Glasgow’s most prominent gap sites".

Glasgow City Council initially approved plans for the 500-bedroom hotel in May 2020, and construction is now expected to start in July this year.

This complex will be owned and operated by pioneering hotel brand The Student Hotel (TSH) - a pan-European investor, developer, owner and operator of a ‘hybrid’ hospitality model offering a mix of functions. These include hotel accommodation, co-living and co-working spaces, a bar and restaurant, conference rooms and fitness centre in a “creative and inspiring environment that attracts a wide range of users and guests”.

READ MORE: Ian McConnell:Brexit could have taken many forms. Cheshire Cat Boris Johnson chose this one

The hotel is the first construction phase of the 3.6-acre Candleriggs Square development. The development is being delivered by a joint venture between Drum Property Group and Stamford Property Investments.

Drum and Stamford first launched their £300m plan to transform Candleriggs Square when the site was bought in March 2019.  Plans include a high-quality mixed-use scheme combining homes, offices, hotel, restaurants and local amenities, together with landscaped open spaces and accessible walkways with a new public square.  

TSH owns and operates 13 hotels across Europe in destinations such as Amsterdam, Berlin, Dresden, Florence, Rotterdam, The Hague, Maastricht and Paris, with a further 12 hotels under development. The company states that its mission is to “create boundary-blurring spaces where students, travellers, mobile professionals, creative nomads and enterprising minds can connect and thrive in smart design co-living and co-working spaces.” 

READ MORE: Haughey's £1bn vision for 11,000 affordable homes

Drum and Stamford noted that Glasgow City Council had granted planning permission in principle for the entire Candleriggs Square site in May 2020, and had recently approved plans for a major 346-apartment build-to-rent scheme by Legal & General, construction of which is due to start later this year.   

Graeme Bone, managing director of Drum Property Group, said: “Candleriggs Square is set to become a much-needed catalyst, kick-starting an exciting future for the city centre as it starts to recover following lockdown. 

"The TSH development is testament to the commitment and confidence we have placed in both the Candleriggs Square site and Glasgow city centre during these most testing of times. It represents a significant step forward in the long-awaited regeneration of one of Glasgow’s most prominent gap sites, driving forward the evolution of Candleriggs Square, which has quickly established itself as one of Scotland’s largest and most important commercial and residential development sites."

READ MORE: Lord Willie Haughey: From selling firewood to a global empire with £1 billion housing vision

He added: “This will be a huge boost to the area and to local businesses, who are in desperate need of some good news right now. We can look forward to bringing back to life a very special area which has always been at the centre of Glasgow’s commercial and social development.”  

Charlie McGregor, founder and chief executive of The Student Hotel, said: “We are delighted to progress on site with TSH Glasgow, which will be a force for urban regeneration in the Candleriggs quarter.

"Our pioneering hybrid hospitality model will allow us to configure our new location and adapt it to the rapidly evolving realities of the market. TSH’s model has already proved its resilience in the Covid-19 environment, and we now have the operational expertise to keep our buildings safe, with our well-designed extensive common areas ideally suited to the demands of different types of visitors. The start on site at TSH Glasgow continues our pan-European expansion into the UK where we are looking at further opportunities arising in a post-Covid-19 marketplace.”