How to Invest in Glasgow
Aug 17, 2010
How to Invest in Glasgow (Week 1)
The next three weeks we will have a series of articles about investing in Glasgow. In this first part we will ask why, where what to do and when.
Glasgow was once known as the “Second City of the British Empire”, a nickname which gives some indication of its early importance as a global hub of business and commerce. Although some of the heavy industry which the city was once famous for, especially ship-building, has moved elsewhere, Glasgow still remains a major commercial centre, the third largest city in the UK, ranked second after London in the league of the most livable cities in the UK. The Mercer Index puts Glasgow in the safest 50 cities in the world and Lonely Planet considers it one of the world’s top ten tourist cities. Glasgow is considered one of Europe’s major financial centers.
In 2006, private sector investment in the city reached £4.2 billion pounds ($6.6 billion dollars.) In Scotland, Foreign Direct Investment is worth £41 billion pounds ($64 billion dollars) per year. So where does a company invest in Glasgow?
The best place to locate depends on what business you are in. If you are in financial services, the International Financial Services District (IFSD) to the Western edge of the city center is one of the UK’s largest financial quarters.
If you are in the retail business, in the city centre Argyle Street, Buchanan Street and Sauchiehall Street are the main shopping streets.
If you are in the IT sector, Glasgow is the Western part of the “Silicon Glen”, the nickname of the IT industry in Scotland.
For living, the West end of Glasgow has a lot of beautiful old apartments and provides easy access to the city centre.
There are various governmental bodies which will assist businesses starting up or expanding in Glasgow. Glasgow City Council is the city government. Scottish Enterprise is mainly funded by the Scottish Government to promote business. Scottish Development International is another organization promoting inward investment. The Glasgow Chamber of Commerce can also provide advice to businesses looking to invest in the city.
For anywhere in the UK, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the UK Government’s inward investment agency which can help companies with research, building contacts, choosing a location, setting up an office and growing a business.
In recent years, the British pound has become less strong against many other international currencies, including the Japanese Yen, so now is an excellent time to take advantage of the favorable exchange rate. Property prices in Glasgow, like many parts of the UK, went down in the recent recession and so now is a good time to purchase real estate and other assets at a discount price.
(to be continued next week)