12 Mar 2019
Is this the week when the shape of the Brexit deal finally emerges or do we face yet another delay?
Either way whilst all the possible votes planned in Westminster roll their way through Parliament, I have joined the Glasgow delegation in Scotland’s team at the annual MIPIM property market in France.
Attending one of the world’s largest events for promoting private investment in cities may look like a daunting task when Brexit is still unresolved, but it is becoming ever more important to get across the message that Scotland is eager to attract business investment.
But while the context may be at its most challenging, at least for Glasgow there is a positive story to tell.
Glasgow Chamber of Commerce has helped finance some of the digital materials explaining the vitality of property markets in the city and when you take just some of the most recent property projects together it’s a bullish combination.
Amongst the very biggest investments in the country is Barclays’ campus development at Buchanan Wharf in Tradeston designed to house up to 2,500 new jobs as part of Drum Property Group’s wider mixed-use project.
That project alone shows how successful Glasgow has been in building what is now one of the top 50 financial centres in the world, with much lower operating costs than London and one of the most highly skilled workforces in the UK.
Here are just a few examples of recent developments. Morgan Stanley completed its move into new offices on Waterloo Street, while Clydesdale Bank owner CYBG will be settling into a new headquarters building on the Bothwell Street side of the same site. Meanwhile up the hill at Pitt Street, Moda Living has started the demolition of the former Strathclyde Police headquarters to build 433 new apartments and Get Living has secured planning permission for a further 700 homes just off High Street - both perfectly positioned to house many of those who will want to work in the city’s International Financial Services District or in the freshly announced City Innovation District around the University of Strathclyde.
Glasgow has made its presence felt at MIPIM for several years but this time there will be a wider Scottish presence reflecting the Scottish Government’s emphasis on reaching out to international markets for trade and investment as a determined response to the Brexit confusion. That must be the right course of action.