Why Glasgow

Glasgow is commanding global recognition as an ambitious, dynamic and vibrant city. With a can-do attitude, a commitment to being the most business-friendly city in the UK, and more than two million visitors a year – it is people that make Glasgow different.

11 reasons

  1. Location of choice - No. 1 city in Scotland for FDI while Scotland is the best performing UK region outside of London.
  2. Cost competitive - Glasgow’s labor and accommodation costs are lower than many other UK and European cities.
  3. Excellent infrastructure - Glasgow is a connected city both physically and digitally. Ongoing investment in key infrastructure ensures a resilient Glasgow will meet the demands of the 21st century.
  4. Investing in the future - over £15billion capital investment since 2011.
  5. Open for business - top businesses choose Glasgow for many reasons. They say it is because of the quality and loyalty of the flexible and qualified workforce, the cosmopolitan feel of a large city, great access, world-class and cost-effective office space.
  6. Talent and skills - Glasgow has a wealth of skills and talent thanks to world-class universities and colleges. The academic heart of Scotland, the city is home to some 130,000 students from 135 countries.
  7. Accommodation to suit your needs - Glasgow has a steady supply of Grade-A office, retail and leisure spaces to suit every size and type of business.
  8. Quality of life - Glasgow ranks high among the best UK cities for quality of life.
  9. Spirit of innovation - Glasgow is among Europe’s most innovative cities and plans are underway to establish Scotland’s first innovation districts in the Merchant City and West End.
  10. Collaboration - Triple helix of cooperation among universities, businesses and the public sector enables greater levels of innovation.
  11. Dedicated support - Glasgow City Council’s Invest Glasgow is a dedicated resource for inward investment. The team is on hand to work with you from initial contact to helping you get settled in the city and beyond.

Forward thinking city

Scotland’s economic powerhouse is setting its sights on becoming the most innovative and productive city in the UK. It is:

  • A leading city for renewable technology by using its historic strengths in engineering and education, to deliver a low carbon economy that will deliver a greener environment for its residents and visitors.
  • Keeping pace with emerging trends including the provision of flexible co-working space, build to-rent city center living while future-proofing investment through enabling infrastructure, smart technologies and world-class digital connectivity.
  • Meeting and exceeding the most demanding digital technology requirements of its modern business community. The Gigabit City fiber network is transforming the city’s digital infrastructure, supporting internet connectivity of up to 100 times faster than the UK average. The state-of-the-art network will future-proof the city as the demand for greater bandwidth continues to grow.
  • Establishing Scotland’s first two innovation districts in Glasgow’s West End and MerchantCity to encourage business clusters and to stimulate growth in the Life Science and higher education sectors. These will maximize the benefits of existing high-value industries including pharmaceutical manufacturing, distributed energy, photonics, bio-nanotechnology, and aerospace manufacturing.
  • Delivering exciting City Deal projects, with over£100 million of city center investment underway with the ‘Avenues Project’ which will see Glasgow's major city center streets revitalized to improve connectivity, infrastructure and streetscapes through the installation of intelligent lighting schemes, new paving, traffic calming measures and tree planting.
  • Setting its sights on becoming one of Europes most climate-ready regions. Communities across the region are being transformed and future-proofed as a result of investment in green networks incorporating sustainable urban drainage, as well as large-scale flood prevention schemes.
  • Creating a smart business environment with world-class facilities that support future savings and efficiencies for any business to flourish.

Exceptional Business Base

Glasgow’s modern, diverse economy has strengths in a variety of sectors and sub-sectors.

The city is home to an impressive ‘who’s who’ of blue-chip companies, major global organizations, and international SMEs. It is the UK’s third largest financial center and ranks in the top 50 in the world. Some of the biggest names in global business and finance, international leaders in precision medicine and pharmaceuticals, research services, engineering and an impressive range of global brands call Glasgow home. Their presence endorses Glasgow’sstatus as a world-class business destination. 

Choose Glasgow and you will be in excellent company.

Innovating the Future

There is a critical mass of expertise, passion, and innovation in Glasgow today. Coupled with 21st-century infrastructure and significant and sustained investment, there is no reason to doubt that Glasgow will continue to be at the forefront of discovery and application.

Award Winning Infrastructure

Glasgow is committed to establishing the centers of excellence required to tackle the challenges of the 21stcentury. Since 2011 there has been extensive development across housing, retail, health, leisure, education, hotels, offices, and industrial – totaling £15 billion.

Innovation Districts

Plans are underway in Glasgow to establish Scotland's first two innovation districts in the WestEnd and Merchant City. Anchored by the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde, these districts will leverage local clusters to stimulate growth and maximize the benefits of existing high-value industries including pharmaceutical manufacturing, distributed energy, photonics, bio-nanotechnology and aerospace manufacturing.

Glasgow City Region City Deal

The first of its kind in Scotland, the £1.13 billionCity Deal is a joint funding scheme from the UK and Scottish Governments. It is set to significantly transform the metropolitan region over the next20 years. The Glasgow City Region City Deal will fund major infrastructure projects, create thousands of new jobs and assist thousands of unemployed people back to work, improve public transport and connectivity, drive business innovation and growth, and generate billions of pounds of private sector investment.

Location and Connectivity

Glasgow straddles the famous River Clyde in west-central Scotland and sits at the centre of Scotland’s only metropolitan region. With a population of 1.8 million, the Glasgow city region is a key driver for both the Scottish and wider UK economies. As a result, Glasgow benefits from a well-developed transportation network that enables excellent connectivity.


  • 150+ destinations worldwide 
  • Direct flights to North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East 
  • 200+ flights daily
  • 9.4 million passengers per year
  • 30+ new routes for 2017 – Frankfurt, Munich, Krakow and Madrid
  • Most European destinations within 2-hour flight
  • One-hour flying time and 438 flights per week to London-Glasgow Prestwick Airport and Edinburgh Airport are both within 1 hour from Glasgow city centre.


  • Central Station – 38 million passengers per year
  • Queen Street – £750 million improvement programme
  • 38 trains per day to London Euston
  • 8 trains per hour to EdinburghEdinburgh – 50 mins
  • Manchester – 3 hrs 30 mins
  • London – 4 hrs 10 mins

Quality of Life

Glasgow is a vibrant city where people chose to live and work. The cultural, sporting, shopping and dining capital of Scotland, there is something for everyone.

  • You’re never far from green space in Glasgow;the city has more green space per mile than any other UK city.
  • The great Scottish outdoors is on your doorstep: the archipelago of the Clyde coast and the Highlands’ stunning scenery are both just 45 minutes away.
  • Glasgow is the 5th Best Sporting City in the World and Glasgow is also a powerhouse when it comes to hosting elite sporting events such as the 2018 European Championships.
  • 3rd highest in UK for the quality of life (Mercer 2017 City Rankings).
  • Home to world-renowned football and rugby clubs and Scotland’s national football team.
  • The Finnieston area of Glasgow was voted the hippest place to live in Britain (Sunday Times).
  • The fDi Intelligence Quality of Life ranks Glasgow higher than Los Angeles and Rome.
  • Glasgow is a UNESCO City of Music– home to national performing arts organizations and hosting as many as 130 music events each week.
  • Glasgow is one of the best places to head to for culinary experimentation(Rough Guides list of must-see destinations 2017).
  • Two of the finest civic art collections in Europe can be found in Glasgow, at the Burrell Collection and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.
  • Glasgow has a superb selection of first-class housing including modern apartments, generously proportioned Victorian flats, and traditional tenements. Leafy suburbs offer a range of family homes and a short commute.
  • With more than half a million square meters of retail floor space, Glasgow is one of the UK’s largest and most successful shopping locations outside of London. The city is home to an abundance of luxury outlets, high street staples and independent retailers.

Commercial Real Estate

Since 2011 Glasgow has seen over £15 billion in capital investment with a new wave of private investment bringing forward a number of planned landmark schemes, across all sectors, primarily in the city center.

Office Space

Glasgow City Core is the largest office sub-market outside of London. The city provides high quality,competitively-priced workspaces. From modern, award-winning, waterfront offices with large floorplates, to the very best converted and refurbished offices, and an impressive choice of flexible and co-working spaces. Glasgow can provide today's employers with a truly sustainable working environment and its standing stock offers a good return on investment (ROI) for investors.

Occupier Market

Glasgow’s office rental costs remain competitive in comparison to many UK cities with property costs typically 72% lower than London, 11% lower than Edinburgh and 9% lower than Manchester.

Investment Market

Investment activity in Glasgow has been strong in2017 with 54 sales transactions exceeding £355mwith an average yield of 7.9%. This investment has been further boosted with two sales transactions in January 2018 totaling £115 million with an average yield of 4.7%. (CoStar – Jan 2018).


Mixed-use development is seen as a key driver in bringing forward new residential, office and leisure development within the city center. Planned schemes will deliver future homes, hotels, retail and workspace in the city center and will change how we live, work and socialize. Major pipeline projects include the University of Glasgow CampusRedevelopment Masterplan, Buchanan Wharf (Tradeston), Candleriggs Quarter and 60 Bath Street/Sauchiehall Street.


Glasgow’s profile as a top international tourism destination has gone from strength to strength.Business tourism, world-class retail, major attractions and global events are all driving demand for additional hotel rooms.Glasgow’s Tourism and Visitor Plan to 2023 sets out a clear direction for continuing to build the city global profile as a successful tourist destination and is focused on increasing overnight leisure tourism visits by one million over the next seven years. To meet these targets Glasgow requires an additional2,500 rooms to add to the existing 9,000 rooms in the city. Despite a pipeline of nearly 1,000 roomsGlasgow still requires more hotel stock.


Glasgow is the UK’s second largest retail centre by spend and achieves the second highest prominent in the UK. It is an exciting and extensive retail destination for shoppers and continues to attract new lettings within the core retail areas of the city centre. The market is competitive on primeBuchanan Street, delivering a strong demand for prime retail space. In the last 12 months, the prime and super-prime rate has jumped from around £280per ft² to a peak of £314 per ft² equating to a very impressive year-on-year increase rate of 12%

Focus industries

Glasgow is a major center for Information Technology, Financial & Insurance Services, Health & Medical, Renewable & Smart Energy, Creative, Marketing & Media, Engineering, Leisure & Tourism, Education & Training and Airport.

Learn about our Focus industries.