Developers say they have fitted the “final piece of the jigsaw” into a £500 million regeneration of the south bank of the Clyde in Glasgow.  

After more than five years of planning and building work, the new office headquarters of the Student Loans Company (SLC) has been completed, marking the final phase of the Buchanan Wharf project.  

One of Scotland’s largest ever development projects, the Tradeston site has been transformed from a post-industrial wasteland into a vibrant mix of office space, housing and riverside walkways. 

Buchanan Wharf is already home to Barclay’s state-of-the-art Northern European campus HQ, and the award-winning Solasta Riverside - an 18-storey, 324-apartment residential complex. 

The final phase involved the construction of the six-storey, 75,000 sq ft headquarters for the SLC, which will now be fitted out in preparation for the firm moving in later this year. 

Developers Drum Property Group have been behind the Buchanan Wharf Project, which was forward-funded by Legal & General Investment Management Real Assets. 


Welcoming the SLC completion at Buchanan Wharf, Graeme Bone, Group Managing Director of Drum Property Group said: “The practical completion of the Student Loans Company’s new office complex finally realises Drum’s ambitious five-year vision for Buchanan Wharf.  

“We have now successfully transformed a neglected industrial brownfield site into a thriving living-and-working community, re-energising this waterfront area and once again making the River Clyde an integral part of Glasgow city centre.  

“Buchanan Wharf is one of Scotland’s largest and most important commercial and residential projects, delivered whilst facing the extreme economic and logistical challenges created by the pandemic.”  

He added: “The project is now recognised as a development of national significance and sets the direction of future regeneration of Glasgow’s city centre.” 

The Buchanan Wharf development sailed into controversy when work got underway, with hundreds signing a petition calling for the name to be changed due to its links to tobacco merchant and former Lord Provost of Glasgow Andrew Buchanan, who was involved in the slave trade.  

Barclays changed the name of its building to ‘Barclays Glasgow Campus’ in line with its naming convention for other sites, but the rest of the development kept the title. 

READ MORE: Barclays confirms 'Buchanan' has been dropped from riverside development amid slavery concerns

However, Drum Property Group sought to distance itself from the controversy, saying the project was named in honour of one of Glasgow's most well-known steamboat owners; Captain William Buchanan. 

Many of Captain Buchanan’s pleasure boat steamers were docked at Bridge Wharf – the site of today’s Buchanan Wharf – before sailing ‘doon the water’ to Greenock, Dunoon and the Isle of Bute. 

The group’s spokesman said at the time: "The steamers are a rich historical reference, with no association to slavery and represent a romantic and fundamental part of the city’s life on the Clyde." 

The Student Loans Company will occupy its headquarters in the autumn, moving 1,100 staff from its Bothwell Street office in the city as part of a 20-year deal. 

Drum said that SLC had played a lead role in the design of the new office space to “optimise opportunities for collaboration and blended working to deliver a new flexible office experience.” 

David Wallace, Deputy Chief Executive at the Student Loans Company added: “This is not only an important milestone for us but for the wider development which has reached its practical competition.  

“Buchanan Wharf has transformed the landscape of this part of the city and it’s been great to watch our building progress over the last year.  

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“To reach the point where we can start to fit out our space, creating a collaborative and modern working experience for our colleagues, is really exciting.” 

He added: “We are starting to bring our vision to life and we are looking forward to becoming part of the Buchanan Wharf community later this year.” 

The investment by Legal & General Investment Management Real Assets demonstrates the company’s continued commitment to UK regions, levelling up and the growing strength of regional hubs across the country.  

Neil Dovey, Head of Annuity Transaction for LGIM Real Assets, said: “This investment demonstrates our continued commitment to regions across the UK and levelling up, particularly as part of a mixed-use regeneration opportunity, and adds another high-quality government building to our portfolio.”