Tontine Building to house up to 300 entrepreneurs

Tontine Building to house up to 300 entrepreneurs

Plans are in place to turn Glasgow’s Tontine Building into a high-tech space for up to 300 entrepreneurs in a £1.67m project.

The plans for the development at Glasgow Cross play a key role in the £1.13bn Glasgow and Clyde Valley City Deal signed in 2014.

The city centre incubator, inspired by Google's offices, is expected to inject £53m into the local economy over the next five years.

Designed to inspire the 135 aspirational businesses expected to use the facility, its features will include a mix of small informal meeting booths, boardrooms, workshop areas and presentation spaces.

Key sectors to be targeted include enabling technologies, advanced design and manufacturing and creative industries.

Frank McAveety, leader of Glasgow City Council and chairman of the Glasgow and Clyde Valley City Deal cabinet, said: "The space has been designed to reflect the needs and attitudes of young businesses, drawing on the designs of Google's offices.

"It offers high level of IT infrastructure that will allow entrepreneurs to rent a space, plug in and go."

"We believe these sectors have strong growth potential," added Mr McAveety. "We want to develop strong working relationships with all the city's higher and further education establishments.

“This includes Strathclyde University, where we anticipate a strong connection with the research work carried out in the [university's] Technology & Innovation Centre."

The university's Technology & Innovation Centre links academics and industry to find solutions to challenges in energy, health, manufacturing and other areas.

The new incubator - called the Tontine Business Acceleration Space and Innovation Hub - also aims to collaborate with the Scottish Funding Council's £120m Innovation Centre programme.

This has so far funded eight innovation centres around Scotland, including the Digital Health Institute and Oil and Gas Innovation Centre.

A business acceleration programme with dedicated business advisers will help young, high-growth companies with five to 20 employees become investor ready, as well as helping with building resilience and leadership capacity.

The building will be formally opened this May.