Plans to revamp one of Glasgow‘s less aesthetically pleasing buildings have been halted due to the challenging economic environment. The £60m project aimed at metamorphosing the city centre Met Tower into a ‘digital and tech hub’ might now adopt a residential approach.

This change in plans was revealed around the same time John Swinney, the upcoming First Minister, identified economic growth as a top-most priority.

Paul Sweeney, a Glasgow Labour MSP, voiced his concerns saying, “Glasgow is in danger of falling behind in its growth and development, as rival cities such as Manchester, Leeds, and Liverpool surge ahead with such investments.”

The Met Tower, notable for its pink ‘People Make Glasgow’ display, previously belonged to the City of Glasgow College but has been vacant since 2014.

Bruntwood SciTech, the current owners, had proposed ambitious plans to refurbish the displeasing building by adding a joining ten-storey tower at the site.

The company previously stated that the 200,000 sq ft of office space would function as a “dedicated digital and tech hub in the heart of Glasgow.”

The Glasgow council had given their approval to the plans, with SNP council leader Susan Aitken praising the £60m investment. However, an inside source revealed that the cost of the project had proven to be a formidable obstacle.

The insider said the company would now contemplate alternatives, including a residential option.

Proposed plans for the redeveloped Met Tower and adjacent new tower
Proposed plans for the redeveloped Met Tower and adjacent new tower
(Image: Bruntwood SciTech)

In response, an official from Bruntwood SciTech mentioned, “Owing to the substantial alterations in the economic environment and construction market induced by inflation and high interest rates, our original vision for the building to create an office workspace isn’t feasible in the current climate.”

He added, “We recognize this building’s iconic stature, the opportunity it offers for the city, and the urgency to revive it rapidly. We are grateful to all those who have assisted us with planning for the future of the Met Tower.”

Sweeney commented, “Bruntwood SciTech suspending their investment in the redevelopment of the iconic Met Tower is indeed disheartening. This initiative would have significantly bolstered the city’s stature in the life sciences and technology industries, creating numerous high-quality jobs.”

“I plan to meet with Bruntwood SciTech to explore possibilities for proceeding with this ambitious project for Glasgow,” he added.

Aitken previously labeled the investment as a “huge vote of confidence” in Glasgow’s “emerging reputation as an international hub of innovation, creativity, and opportunity.”

The Met Tower holds a prominent place on Glasgow’s skyline, but it’s far from a remarkable architectural structure. In 2023, a photography website listed it as the second ugliest building in the UK.

The people at ParrotPrint commented, “This multi-story building unfortunately stands out in the skyline of Glasgow. The situation is further worsened by a giant pink sign added to the building, spoiling the view of Glasgow.”

A spokesperson from Glasgow City Council empathized, “While it is regrettable that the Met Tower project will not see fruition, we intend to partner with various parties to expedite the sustainable redevelopment of the building and site.”