Construction begins on Scotland’s largest hotel

L-R: Reink Oosterhof (CEO Real Estate, The Student Hotel); Councillor Susan Aitken (leader of Glasgow City Council); Ray Hutchinson (MD, Gilbert Ash (contractors for the TSH site)); and Graeme Bone (group MD, Drum Property Group). Image credit: Julie Broadfoot

CONSTRUCTION of what will become Scotland’s largest hotel is underway in Glasgow’s Merchant City area.

A ground-breaking ceremony has been held at Candleriggs Square to mark the £300 million transformation of the development site. The 500-bedroom hotel forms the first development phase of the regeneration of the 3.6-acre Candleriggs Square site, which is being delivered by a joint venture between Drum Property Group and Stamford Property Investments.

The Student Hotel (TSH) is an investor, developer, owner and operator of a ‘hybrid’ hospitality concept combining accommodation, co-living and co-working spaces with restaurants, bars, gyms, retail outlets and meetings and event spaces. The company has launched 15 hotels in city centre destinations including Amsterdam, Florence and Berlin.

The opening of the TSH in Glasgow will mark a personal milestone for founder and chief executive, Charlie McGregor, who was born and raised in Scotland. He said, “Today marks the first step of what will become Scotland’s largest hotel, bringing with it our pioneering hybrid hospitality model that will introduce something very different and very exciting to the UK market.

“On a personal level, I am thrilled that the first TSH in the UK will be in Scotland and that our brand is finally ‘coming home’. Candleriggs Square, in the very heart of Glasgow’s historic Merchant City, provides us with the perfect location. We are very pleased to be active partners of hugely collaborative effort to regenerate this magnificent part of the city centre. We hope this will provide the perfect entry for The Student Hotel into the wider UK market and look forward to progressing our national development.”

The next development phase will be a 346-apartment Build-to-Rent scheme delivered on behalf of Legal & General, with construction due to begin shortly.

Graeme Bone, group MD of Drum Property Group, commented, “Now, more than ever, we are committed to progressing our plans as soon as we can. For the last 20 years, the site has lain neglected and unused, becoming an unattractive gap site in an otherwise vibrant and thriving neighbourhood. The development will return Candleriggs Square to what it always was – a bustling market-place full of life, vitality and interest and intrinsically linked to the rest of the city centre, bringing with it a significant and timely boost for both the local and national economy.

“High-quality housing, hotels, local amenities and open spaces will combine with new pedestrian links throughout the site, making the whole Merchant City more accessible, welcoming and exciting for people living, working and visiting the area.”

Glasgow City Council approved plans for the hotel in May 2020, and also granted approval for ‘Planning Application in Principle’ for the entire 3.6-acre site. The site will eventually feature homes, offices, hotels, restaurants and local amenities with landscaped open spaces, walkways, and a new public square.

Council leader, councillor Susan Aitken, added, “Glasgow needs a city centre that is an attractive place to live, work, study, visit and invest – and the regeneration of Candleriggs Square can play an important role in delivering on all of those aims. The start of construction is very welcome, bringing new life to a key site that has lain vacant for a considerable time. We can also look forward to further stages of the development bringing economic and social benefit to the Merchant City’s residents and businesses – and contributing to a wider renewal of the city centre.”