Invest Glasgow - Your knowledge base for investing in Glasgow

Glasgow is Scotland's largest city with a population of 600,000 sitting at the centre of a metropolitan area of 1.7 million. As Scotland's largest urban economy, Glasgow has witnessed strong economic growth and development in recent years, generating some £18 billion gross value added (GVA) each year, supporting over 450,000 jobs.

Building on a number of strong, competitive industry sectors, the city is creating even greater opportunities for economic growth:

  • financial and business services
  • low carbon industries/cleantech
  • engineering, design and manufacturing
  • tourism and events
  • life science
  • higher and further education.

Invest Glasgow is the city's dedicated inward investment team based within Glasgow City Council. The core mission of Invest Glasgow is to provide a first class, first point of contact for investors interested in locating in one of the most business-friendly locations in the UK and Europe.

Glasgow offers quality office space at affordable prices

Glasgow is Scotland's largest office market (27 million square feet, 16 million in the city centre) and is the UK's third-largest office market. By the end of spring 2015, some 450,000 square feet of new, speculative Grade A office space will be added to an already impressive stock of city centre commercial property.

With property costs up to 4% lower than Manchester, 5% lower than Edinburgh and 75% lower than London, value for money is guaranteed without scrimping on quality. Labour costs are equally competitive, up to 12% lower than Edinburgh and 33% lower than London (Source: FDI Benchmark based on costs for running a BPO centre).

People Make Glasgow successful with a wealth of talent and skills

Quality people are the heart of any successful business and Glasgow has one of the most highly skilled and flexible workforces in Europe. Glasgow ranks second in the UK after London for its people's skills, according to a recent report from the Centre for Cities. With a median age of 35, businesses find it easy to recruit and retain high quality people, and local labour costs compare favourably with the rest of the UK.

With a large student population of over 130,000 from over 135 countries, Glasgow boasts a healthy pipeline of skills and talent supporting the city's large industry clusters and business hubs.

Prime development and investment opportunities

Glasgow's continued focus on major infrastructure developments will boost the city's national and international standing even further. The city is currently experiencing a period of record capital investment of around £8 billion.

With fast tracking for major planning applications for key development, Glasgow is also an assisted area for Business Premises Renovation Allowances (BPRA). This enables investors to make use of 100% capital allowances for 'qualifying renovation expenditure' on derelict commercial properties.

A number of prime sites are available for hotel, office, retail, leisure and residential development. Glasgow's commercial office market offers a healthy yield of six per cent and demand for new Grade A office development remains high. Similarly, a number of sites in the city hold planning permission for hotels and the need for four and five star accommodation echoes Glasgow's reputation as a business hub, and for tourism, conferences and events.

The £1.13 billion Glasgow and the Clyde Valley City deal is the biggest of its kind in the UK and will fund major infrastructure projects that will greatly add to the value of the local economy over the next 20 years. There is significant scope for investment in a number of transformative projects.

A collaborative approach to supporting investors

Working with new investors, Glasgow has a range of support measures on offer. Glasgow is an eligible area for Regional Selective Assistance (RSA), a discretionary grant scheme, and Glasgow City Centre sits within a Tier 2 area offering from 10-30% support for inward investors.

Invest Glasgow can assist with small-scale, short-term workspace in advance of the company's arrival in the city and facilitate fast-track planning and building warrants if required during the fit-out phase of the project, all backed up with robust market intelligence.

The Glasgow Guarantee is designed to encourage and maximise the creation of new jobs in Glasgow by creating a more streamlined approach to recruitment that meets the needs of business by stimulating both supply and demand through linking business need with unemployed city residents. Offering a wage subsidy of up to 50% for participating companies, recruitment costs can be significantly offset.

Invest Glasgow works with partners across the city and draws on the support of Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Development International as well as City Property LLP, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and Glasgow Chamber of Commerce to support investment into our key industrial sectors.

Since 2012, this approach has generated over 4,000 new jobs across financial and business services, life science, engineering design and manufacturing and renewables, and secured Glasgow the accolade of fDi European Cities and Regions of the Future, winner Large Cities - Best for FDI Strategy 2014/15.

To find out how Invest Glasgow can support you, contact us today!

Contact Details

Invest Glasgow
Glasgow City Council
Exchange House
231 George Street
Glasgow G1 1RX
[email protected]

Available White Papers


Invest Glasgow - City Prospectus 15 May 2015 Glasgow is one of the world’s greatest cities. It offers its residents, visitors and businesses an extraordinary quality of urban life and is a city ready for business, trade and investment.


Invest Glasgow - Retail Prospectus 15 May 2015 With a population of approximately 600,000, Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city and commercial capital. Named as fDi’s Large European City of the Future for FDI Strategy 2014/15, Glasgow’s robust economy, inspiring infrastructure and busy calendar of events until 2024 attracts leisure and business tourists all year round.


Invest Glasgow - Hotel Prospectus 15 May 2015 Glasgow’s fully rounded economy generates travellers for commerce, leisure, conventions and events year round. This is not a seasonal city with an August peak; it’s a flourishing destination where hotels enjoy year round high occupancy.


Invest Glasgow - Glasgow Economic Facts 2014 15 May 2015 Glasgow makes the highest contribution (16%) to GVA of all Scottish cities, and GVA per head is higher than the average Scottish level. Furthermore, in 2012, Glasgow’s registered private sector enterprises generated almost 12% of the total turnover from Scotland’s private registered enterprises. Using key economic performance indicators, the table below demonstrates Glasgow’s economic performance.

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