A landmark listed building in Glasgow city centre is set to reopen in winter 2025, after being vacant for a decade, following planning approval for a major transformation.

The Met Tower is being redeveloped by Bruntwood SciTech, a property company focused on the science and technology sector.

The landmark former College of Building and Printing tower was covered with a huge “People Make Glasgow” graphics wrap for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The 14-storey Met Tower, which has lain vacant since 2014, was acquired by Bruntwood SciTech from property developer Osborne+Co for £16.2m last year.

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Enabling works are under way on site and will continue for the remainder of 2023, with construction expected to start next spring.

Bruntwood SciTech noted the planning approval for the transformation of the B-listed building, from Glasgow City Council, would see it create a new technology and digital hub.

The company, which describes itself as a “leading developer of city-wide innovation ecosystems and specialist environments”, said: “The approved plans mark a significant milestone in preparation for the refurbishment of the former City of Glasgow College, grade B-listed building, bringing it back into use ready to open in winter 2025 following a 10-year period of vacancy. The £60 million investment will also see Bruntwood SciTech create a new 10-storey tower which will interconnect with Met Tower via a new wellbeing plaza space.”

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It added: “Combined, the two towers, on the doorstep of Queen Street Station, will offer more than 200,000 sq ft of serviced and leased office space to supercharge the growth of the city’s tech and digital sector.”

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Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Bruntwood SciTech’s £60m investment in the Met Tower is a huge vote of confidence in Glasgow’s growing reputation as an international centre of innovation, creativity and opportunity. It also recognises our vision for a changing city centre, one with new industries and new purposes and where innovation and technology are brought into the heart of city life.

“These plans show the transformational potential of the building in a part of the city already experiencing incredible change and I’m delighted the plans have reached this major milestone. Met Tower has been a Glasgow icon for 60 years and Bruntwood SciTech’s investment in this landmark will ensure it remains a symbol of the city for generations to come.”

Daron Williams, building consultancy director at Bruntwood SciTech, said: “Glasgow is already on its way to becoming a world-leading tech hub and one of the UK’s fastest-growing clusters and, with approval of our plans now confirmed, we’re very much looking forward to Met Tower becoming the beacon for the tech community in the city.

“We’re proud to be playing our part in galvanising the tech momentum in this city and couldn’t be better placed to do so in the heart of the city centre and innovation district - surrounded by two brilliant universities, an exceptional college, and several established alternative training providers who will ensure that the businesses who locate to Met Tower can tap into a strong, highly skilled talent pool.”

He added: “We said when we acquired the site last year that we would be working with momentum to bring this iconic building back into use after so many years being left vacant, and we’ve already been readying the site throughout the first half of this year for construction. This approval enables us to continue progressing forwards and, whilst the site preparations continue the rest of this year, we’ll be firming up our final design details and getting ready to start the refurbishment of Met Tower next year.”