Social Hub opening marks milestone at £300m Candleriggs Square transformation

Social Hub opening marks milestone at £300m Candleriggs Square transformation

A significant milestone has been reached in the £300 million regeneration of Candleriggs Square in Glasgow’s Merchant City, one of Scotland’s most high-profile city centre development sites.

Developed by a joint venture bringing together Drum Property Group and Stamford Investments, the site has marked its first completed building following the highly awaited opening of the UK’s first The Social Hub – a four-star hybrid hospitality location combining hotel, student & extended stay accommodation, co-working space and leisure facilities.

The 3.6-acre Candleriggs Square site - bound by Wilson Street, Hutcheson Street, Candleriggs and Trongate - is regarded by many as the last and most important piece of Glasgow’s Merchant City regeneration jigsaw. Originally home to Glasgow’s flourishing fruit and vegetable market for most of the 20th century the square played host to a department store before remaining unoccupied and derelict for more than two decades, following the closure of the last operator there in 1999.

The regeneration of the area is now starting to quickly take shape, with the next building to complete on site - the 346-apartment build-to-rent scheme delivered on behalf of Legal & General - forecast for practical completion this summer.

Graeme Bone, group managing director of Drum Property Group, welcomed the completion of The Social Hub Glasgow as heralding an exciting future for Candleriggs Square.

He said: “The development vision we outlined when we first took ownership of the site in 2019 is now starting to come to fruition. Despite many construction and delivery challenges, we are now seeing this vital part of the city centre, which had lain dormant for more than 20 years, beginning to take shape. It’s great to see these spectacular buildings coming out of the ground, bringing people, investment and excitement back into the heart of Glasgow city centre.

“The opening of The Social Hub Glasgow marks the return of Candleriggs Square to what it once was as part of the city’s rich commercial history – a bustling marketplace full of life, vitality and interest, intrinsically linked to the rest of the city centre.”

He added: “We can now look forward to more high-quality housing, local amenities and open spaces combining with new pedestrian and access links creating a new sense of place, and making the whole Merchant City more accessible, welcoming and exciting for people living, working and visiting the area.”

The Social Hub Glasgow spans some 20,000 sq. metres is the result of a £90 million investment, and has space for up to 222 co-workers along with 20 private offices and eight flexible meeting and event spaces totalling 1,500sq metres. There are 494 rooms including dedicated four-star hotel rooms for leisure and business travellers, as well as those for students and extended-stay guests, making it Scotland’s largest hotel by room numbers.

The Social Hub concept is the brainchild of Edinburgh native Charlie MacGregor, who set up the first of what has grown into a portfolio of 23 hubs across Europe, in 2012 in Rotterdam - 18 of which are now open. Driven by its purpose of creating a better society, The Social Hub is now a pan-European investor, developer, owner and operator of a ‘hybrid’ hospitality model combining hotel accommodation, co-living and co-working spaces with restaurants, bars, conference rooms and fitness facilities, all coupled by pioneering community-centric experiences and social-impact focused programmes.

Glasgow City Council initially approved plans for The Social Hub Glasgow in May 2020, as well as granting approval for ‘Planning Application in Principle’ for the entire 3.6-acre site. Drum and Stamford’s proposals include a high-quality mixed-use scheme combining homes, offices, hotels, restaurants and local amenities together with landscaped open spaces and accessible walkways – with a new public square at the heart of the development. Plans for Candleriggs Square match Glasgow City Council’s stated desire to bring more people back into the city centre to live, work and visit.

Council leader, Councillor Susan Aitken, attended the hotel’s groundbreaking ceremony in September 2021, and said at the time: “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. We can now 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.”

Share icon
Share this article: