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EXPLORING THE RESURGENCE OF URBAN LIVING
THE STORY OF AN extraordinary OFFICE BUILDING
BRAVO NET ZERO
INTRO PARAGRAPH - GOTHAM LIGHT 16 on 26. all caps. change the colour accordingly if required.
ESCAPE TO THE CITY
OUR INTERVIEW WITH ONE OF THE UK’S MOST INSPIRING ATHLETES WHO WILL BE COMPETING IN THE 2022 PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES IN BEIJING IN MARCH 2022
UNLOCKING SCOTLAND'S LIFE SCIENCES
PROPELLED INTO THE SPOTLIGHT AND EXPERIENCING Enormous GROWTH
Produced & designed by:
Real Media Group
very warm welcome to our third edition of ALBA, Savills annual Scottish property publication that celebrates the best of Scotland’s real estate market. While it is impossible to ignore the ongoing backdrop of Covid, it is also incredibly important that we acknowledge the achievements and the resilience we have seen across the Scottish land and property markets over the last year.
The ability to adapt and then thrive has been fundamental to the reopening and resurgence of many sectors. The return to the office was a key milestone in Scotland with businesses reopening their doors in September allowing staff to integrate and collaborate more easily. We’ve seen a hybrid work pattern emerging, with organisations recognising the benefits of a flexible approach, resulting in a healthy bounce in office leasing activity, most notably in city centre locations. As people began to return to a more ‘normal’ way of life following the removal of restrictions, we saw a speedy and enthusiastic return to domestic leisure with pubs, bars, restaurants, hotels and gyms welcoming customers back en masse. The retail market in Scotland has also defied gravity and proved resilient attracting new brands, despite the challenges in this sector. The out of town retail market in particular has benefitted from a huge increase in positive sentiment. The diverse array of investors who have shown interest in Scotland over the past year have been attracted by the robust performance in many of our markets. Scotland’s residential market continued to see outstanding levels of activity across the board, while the rural estates markets have also witnessed unprecedented growth in values as a result of increased demand. There is however one aspect that has dominated all sectors more so than ever this year. In every conversation I have had, regardless of sector, sustainability and Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) have been a focal point. For Scotland, this focus soared with the arrival of COP26 in October, throwing an international spotlight on Glasgow and on this critical global challenge, which affects every one of us. All this and more is explored in this edition of ALBA. As we move forward, whilst there may be some trepidation around the impacts that the pandemic may continue to bring, the unique strength of Scotland as a home, a workplace and somewhere for everyone to enjoy remains unchallenged.
Head of Savills Scotland
EDINBURGH IN A DAY
Turrets and treehouses
CREATIVE SPACE MADE AFFORDABLE
Bravo Net Zero
Escape to the City
West End Debut
CAPITAL STAR REBORN
An Interview With Scott Meenagh
Edinburgh in a Day
New Style Nuptials
Unlocking Scotland's Life Sciences
Turrets and Treehouses
Scotland’s creative industries (design, music, publishing, architecture, film crafts, visual arts, fashion, media, advertising, literature and the performing arts) contribute more than £5 billion to the Scottish economy every year - with the Economic Strategy identifying creative industries as a growth sector where Scotland can build on existing advantages to increase productivity and growth.
How affordable workspaces are helping to nurture Scotland’s creative talent
The recent performance of the asset class, paired with its environmental benefits, makes forestry an increasingly attractive investment.However, planting more trees is not a silver bullet solution. It is important to be aware of the barriers to planting. The nursery stock of tree saplings is limited and the planning process for woodland creation is time intensive. Once approved, woodland cannot be reverted to farmland which often deters farmers. Finally, there is a limited area within the UK that is suitable for tree planting - it is important not to compromise other biodiverse habitats in the name of reaching tree planting targets.
Planting must be undertaken at the right place and time and with the help of professional advice. Clearly carbon sequestration through nature-based solutions such as planting trees will be essential on the path to reaching net zero emissions. But at the same time, the Government now has the colossal task of pulling our pandemic-stricken economy out of the depths of recession.
cotland’s creative industries comprise over 15,000 businesses
employing more 70,000 people made up of a large number of freelancers as well as students studying creative courses. Together they make an important contribution to the national wealth and international reputation of Scotland. Providing affordable and interesting workspaces is therefore crucial to ensuring that Scotland is at the forefront of the tech and creative industries, and a draw for national and international talent. Proactive local authorities that recognise existing resources and create mechanisms to support new, affordable programmes will have a direct impact on the local area and job creation post-pandemic.
There is a realisation that nurturing and supporting creative talent requires joined up thinking and a willingness of public and private sectors to work together to provide affordable workspaces.
As property owners, councils often have unused or under-used assets that can be repurposed as workspace, either for long-term use or as ‘meanwhile’ space awaiting redevelopment. As a result, private developers and planners are being increasingly encouraged to make use of ‘meanwhile’ space prior to development. And there are several advantages to this approach: it’s a great opportunity for providers to test their concept; to deliver a service to the local community; and to brand a site while it is undergoing redevelopment.
Repurposing older buildings that are already in the right location
is a sustainable and cost-effective way to develop affordable workspaces. The use of historic buildings which offer some form
of heritage and cultural belonging can help to reinvigorate communities. According to Historic England, links to a place with history can improve a sense of wellbeing; so it follows that creating workspaces in such environments can enhance physical and mental health, while connecting people to their community. Glasgow-based Wasps is Scotland’s largest creative community providing inspiring spaces and places. As an organisation, they offer studio space to around 900 artists, 25 arts charities and 33 creative businesses at 19 historic locations across Scotland, for more than 800 tenants from Shetland to the Borders. Wasps specialises in finding creative, economic and positive community use for heritage buildings which may otherwise be lost. One of Wasps key projects is the redevelopment of half of the Briggait Market Halls complex, where they have created artists’ studios, offices and exhibition space for Glasgow’s arts community. Up to 150 creative people now work at the Briggait daily.
Another approach. . .
Ultimately. . .
Deveron Arts, a contemporary arts organisation, has found a remarkable way to create space by making an entire town its venue. The small market town of Huntly in the north east of Scotland (population 4,500) acts as studio, gallery and stage for artists of all disciplines who are invited from around the world to live and work there.
Investment in social and cultural infrastructure through the provision of affordable workspaces will become even more important post-pandemic with community and collaboration becoming key ingredients. Proactive local governments which make the best use of existing resources and devise practical mechanisms to support new ideas will have a direct impact on the local area, job creation and the environment. Essentially, an area will see authentic social and economic value by connecting with the community, embracing its heritage, and by nurturing and celebrating local skills, craft and culture.
By Clare Bailey,
Commercial Research Director
A prime example is EP Spaces, which is Edinburgh Printmakers’ national network of affordable ‘meanwhile’ spaces for artists and creative communities. Edinburgh Printmakers work with landlords across Scotland, bringing disused shops, offices and retail units back to life with new purpose and vitality. They have been highly effective in creating vibrant workplaces in the heart of towns and cities that often have limited affordable space for creative projects. The High Street Area Strategy, City Property and Glasgow City Council have also been trialling a Meanwhile Use initiative. Its aim is to show that there are innovative ways to bring vacant units into use and thus re-energise neglected urban areas. In addition, most tenants of ‘meanwhile’ spaces are from the creative communities, so they
bring a distinct and welcome character to the neighbourhood.
The restored 1873 hall also hosts a range of cultural, community and social events and activities throughout the year. It isn’t just key cities that are embracing creative space; we have also seen the trend move out to more rural locations. Creative Academy is a £5.7m flagship project in the Highlands, based in the two B-listed Inverness Royal Academy ‘Midmills’ buildings in the heart of the city. The two-phase Inverness project aims to boost the economy by bringing together artists, makers and creative companies in a high-profile centre with the facilities they need to flourish. The project is already showing its worth by providing high-quality, affordable workspace to locally-based people who want to live and work in the Highlands but were previously unable to find studios. CABN (Creative Arts Business Network), a Place Partnership project funded by Creative Scotland, is another key example of an initiative to grow and nurture the creative sector. Set in the Scottish Borders, it offers a diverse programme of support that seeks to strengthen the sector by working towards longer term strategic goals.
The story of an extraordinary
Sustainability is in FORE Partnership’s DNA. We set up the business in 2012 to drive positive social and environmental returns through real estate. We’ve been on a mission ever since to prove that a deep commitment to sustainability is not a trade-off that comes at the expense of investor returns, but that the two are indivisible. In Glasgow, we set out to evolve the city’s property market by creating space that is as wholly sustainable as it is world-class, and we are really pleased to have delivered not only Glasgow’s first Net Zero Carbon building in operation, but one of the most sustainable and innovative office buildings in the whole of the UK.
What was the inspiration behind creating one of
the UK’s most sustainable office buildings?
We certainly had some hair-raising moments! Not least of all when the construction industry was shut for three months, and more recently with massive supply chain disruption. First and foremost, we had a contractor in Bowmer + Kirkland that was unwavering in its commitment to the project, and our vision. When Covid hit, we knew we had something that was going to be spot on, as society emerged with a greater sense of purpose and a stronger commitment to tackling climate and social issues. So we have actually leaned into that vision during the pandemic. We believe buildings are part of a complex urban system, and so Cadworks is driving positive, systemic change by linking together social and environmental outcomes, which in turn we know is deeply linked to powerful corporate strategic goals. Cadworks appeals to the new generation of occupiers who understand that a workspace is about much more than just desks and is a crucible of the culture and values of a business.
Developing and delivering a building during a global pandemic must have presented its own challenges. How did you ensure that Cadworks still retained FORE Partnership’s overall values and vision?
Like many, we had a deep design review as Covid took hold. Turns out, we didn’t need to change much, even though the building was designed five or six years ago. We already knew that it is important to maintain healthy indoor spaces and we understood how space is used by the people in it. We did look at all manner of contactless options and in the end, perhaps the only thing we changed after our review was moving to touchless taps in the WCs. We had already established our partnership with Metrikus and AirRated to fit out the common parts with air quality and capacity utilisation sensors, something we are now offering to tenants via a series of turnkey packages as part of their CAT-A fit out, so that they can layer smart building technology to improve the utilisation, visibility and the health of their workspace. Tenants can check on how busy the common meeting areas are, or see live data about CO2 and other indoor pollutants or poorly heated or ventilated areas. We also had a partnership in place to use Airlite paint, which takes pollutants such as NOX out of the air and neutralises them. Airlite also prevents and inhibits the growth of mould and has been proven to kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses. All this was designed into the building long before anyone had heard of Covid-19.
In our new world of hybrid working, what design factors did you have to consider for Cadworks that you may not have done if it was developed pre-pandemic?
I think it is bigger than sustainability; it’s about purpose. Businesses and their teams are thinking differently about the space they want to represent them, about their own values. For sure, the buildings that they occupy are a big part of their ESG (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance) which is accelerating in importance. By moving into a super-green building like Cadworks, companies can instantly reduce their carbon footprint, and the building offers them the tools to continue to improve on that. Health and wellbeing are rising factors too. A healthy WELL®-ready building like Cadworks delivers marked improvements in staff productivity, retention and engagement, as well as a reduction in sick leave. All key metrics in the running of a business. But as tenants become more sophisticated consumers of sustainability, they are realising that this is about what they stand for – their values as a brand, which is absolutely fundamental to how their own customers and stakeholders look at them, and ultimately whether they thrive or fail.
How do you think occupiers’ requirements have been shaped by sustainability?
Cadworks has broken the mould by combining smart technology, authentic social engagement and genuine carbon reduction. With 94,000 sq ft of Grade A, column-free space spanning ten floors, Cadworks is a significant addition to Glasgow’s streetscape, already making its mark as an exemplar beacon of sustainability for all future developments in the country. But if I had to pick one thing, I’d say providing Scotland’s first cycle-in access ramp with industry-leading cycle and changing facilities would be it. We’re thinking about creating a Strava segment for the ramp, it’s proving so popular. There was a lot of scepticism when we decided to replace the original basement car park with best-in-class bike facilities five years ago, but no longer. Our goal is to encourage tenants to commute to work hassle-free and empower them to make healthy lifestyle decisions, playing their part in reducing carbon and creating a people-centric, green and healthy society. Early days still, but I think that has worked.
Which part of the project are you most proud of?
It would be the building’s place in driving positive social outcomes for the long term. Our vision is not restricted to bricks and mortar. As a certified B Corporation, we drive system transformation and act as a catalyst for positive change where we invest, whether by working with grassroots organisations or larger social enterprises that make an enormous difference to people in each city. So far at Cadworks that has included partnering with Refuweegee to help provide essential welcome packs for displaced community members arriving in Glasgow, supporting Social Bite by extending their capacity to end food poverty and homelessness, and working with SoulRiders to supply bikes for vulnerable members of our community. We are also creating a “conservation corner” that will provide a legacy of COP, showcasing the challenges of climate change and innovations that can help.
What legacy would you like Cadworks to have for Glasgow?
Real estate is generally a very risk averse industry. But we need to drive innovation to beat the climate crisis. At every possible opportunity, the team involved with Cadworks used the most cutting-edge technology to achieve more sustainable outcomes. We executed innovative building techniques and introduced new materials, many of which had never previously been used in Glasgow, such as cement-free concrete, and Airlite paint that eats greenhouse gas. As an industry, I think we need to support innovation in the supply chain: there is such an incredible heritage of innovation here in the UK and we need to celebrate that in the property sector. I get why there is a reluctance to change ‘business as usual’, but asset owners need to understand that change is coming, and at that moment of capitulation, they will either be on the right side of the equation or not.
In your view, what should we be doing as an industry to accelerate change when it comes to creating more sustainable workspaces?
We need radical collaboration. Even between developers who might normally consider each other competitors. That’s why we’re open about how we are achieving Net Zero and what we are doing more generally. There are some really simple initiatives that can help right from the get-go. For example, Cadworks is one of Glasgow’s first shell and floor specifications. This means that tenants save time and money in their fit out, are more sustainable, and can be more creative with their designs. Less to do also means shorter moving in timescales and fit out can start straight away. Once they are settled in, we bring occupants together with the wider community on important topics including sustainability but also wider social issues in our ‘urban village hall’ which hosts events with occupiers joining local community groups and social enterprises. We’ve already welcomed law firm TLT to the building, who share our goal of carefully stewarding our increasingly fragile environment. I hope that Cadworks acts as a catalyst for transformation not only of buildings, but also of business and society more generally.
How do you think developers, landlords and occupiers can work better together to create more sustainable environments?
We’re going to develop Scotland’s most sustainable office, again! But before that, leveraging our success with Cadworks, we are building on our office strategy with the development of TBC.London, a 110,000 sq ft forward-thinking workspace next to Tower Bridge, as well as delivering a net zero later living scheme in Bristol. Bristol is our first foray into later living after developing a range of commercial and residential assets, including offices and co-living properties, so we are really excited about it. We are bringing the same focus on positive environmental and social outcomes to this under-appreciated part of the property market. We’re also catching the wave of a more conscious form of capitalism, by looking at raising our next fund. There is a tremendous unmet demand on the part of investors who are looking at their existing property portfolios and getting increasingly alarmed by the substantial stranded asset risk they are sitting on, with not much in the way of forward thinking funds in which to invest.
Having developed Scotland’s most sustainable office building, what is next?
I think it is bigger than sustainability; it’s about purpose. Businesses and their teams are thinking differently about the space they want to represent them, about their own values.
At every possible
opportunity, the team
involved with Cadworks
used the most cutting-edge technology to achieve more
By xxx xxxxx,
Xxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxx Xxxxxx
+44 (0) 000 000 0000 xxxxxy@Savills.com
Interview with Basil Demeroutis, Managing Partner, Fore Partnership
A global spotlight was shone on Glasgow in November last year as it hosted the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26. The city’s very first Net Zero Carbon office building, named Cadworks, was completed to coincide with the conference and demonstrates developer FORE Partnership’s commitment to driving innovation and change in the built environment. Basil Demeroutis, Managing Partner at FORE Partnership, gives us some insight into the vision behind the project.
Basil Demeroutis, Managing
Partner at FORE Partnership
Exploring the resurgence of urban living
cottish *prime transactions as a whole are 79% higher than the pre-pandemic average, and more recently this has been led by city property sales. Both period and contemporary homes are highly sought after: the common denominators being generously-sized interiors, access to green space and quality of life. Looking ahead, we anticipate more demand for homes in ‘20-minute neighbourhoods’ where daily necessities such as work, shopping, entertainment, schools and recreation are all within a quick walk or cycle from home. There has been particularly fierce competition for city centre townhouses and suburban family homes in Edinburgh and Glasgow, with record prices achieved. But Aberdeen is also witnessing its busiest market since the oil and gas downturn, and Dundee is seeing its highest level of transactions. Our prediction is that with hybrid working patterns likely to remain, buyers will continue to seek homes that offer more space, with an increasing focus on urban areas. *Prime: market above £400,000.
AS MORE PEOPLE RETURN TO OFFICES AND HYBRID WORKING,
AND THE BUZZ OF BARS, SHOPS, THEATRES AND RESTAURANTS BEGINS AGAIN, THERE IS A RENEWED LEVEL OF RESIDENTIAL BUYER ACTIVITY IN SCOTLAND’S CITY LOCATIONS. INDEED a growing number of affluent young professionals, families and empty nesters, reminded of what they’ve missed during lockdown, are looking to towns and
cities for accessibility, convenience and lively,
well-connected urban spaces.
• A legacy for future generations
• A collection of 1, 2 & 3 bedroom apartments
• Elegantly designed
• Exceptional specification.
• Category A listed building
• Electric car charging points available
The Playfair at Donaldson’s is an outstanding building of palatial elegance, located on the western boundary of the Edinburgh World Heritage Site.
The Playfair At Donaldson’s, Edinburgh
Prices from £415k - £1.525M
• 1, 2 & 3 bedroom apartments
• Penthouse collection
• Contemporary living
• Specification of the highest standard
Alongside its enviable location and style, Waverley Square comprises a luxurious mix of 1, 2 & 3 bedroom apartments, mews & galleried penthouses all offering stylish contemporary living.
Waverley Square, Edinburgh
Prices from £380K - £775K
• 34, 2 & 3 bedroom apartments
• 2 exclusive penthouse apartments
• Private balconies and terraces to most
• Communal roof terrace
• Allocated parking
• Views of Shawlands Bowling Green
• Grand reception hallway with hardwood
finishes and hand carved balustrade
• Flexible accommodation throughout
A stylish collection of 32, 2 bedroom apartments overlooking Shawlands Bowling Green and 2, exclusive 3 bedroom
penthouse apartments with wrap around terraces.
Waverley Park, Glasgow
Prices from £260K - £565K
• Final apartment remaining
• 4 bedroom duplex apartment
• Private patio & terrace
• Principal en suite & walk in wardrobe
• Internal residents parking
• Electric vehicle charging point
Park Quadrant Residences is an exclusive development offering a mix of 98, 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedroom apartments and penthouse collection. Situated within the historic Park District.
Park Quadrant Residences, Glasgow
Prices from £815K
The finest example of a traditional Duplex conversion with magnificent proportions and an incomparable attention to detail.
24 Park Circus, G3 6AP, Glasgow
for sale Offers over £1.1M
• Wonderful south facing garden
• Situated in an extremely sought after residential area
• Private driveway
• Laid out over four floors with flexible accommodation
• Still retains a range of period features
• Incredible views of Arthur’s Seat and the Pentland Hills
Rare opportunity to acquire a substantial, detached house over four floors situated in a desirable part of Edinburgh’s Grange district.
24 Dalrymple Crescent, Edinburgh
• Situated on a highly sought after and central New Town address
• Large, beautifully proportioned drawing room with wonderful
aspects over Ainslie Place Gardens
• Residents access to beautiful extensive gardens
• City centre and West End amenities on the doorstep
• Exceptional views over Stockbridge towards the Forth and beyond
at the rear
A charming and rarely available two bedroom drawing room apartment, occupying the first floor of a handsome Georgian building in Edinburgh’s New Town.
Ainslie Place, Edinburgh
• Very fine Georgian townhouse with a secluded walled garden
• Fully renovated but still retaining delightful period character
• Presented to the highest of standards with elegant
• Utterly charming, flexible accommodation, Ideal for entertaining and working from home
• Enviable position close to cathedral and Botanic Gardens as well as to amenities
Outstanding townhouse situated within the heart of a charming and historic area of Aberdeen.
Castleton House, Aberdeen
for sale OFFERS OVER £975K
• Fully refurbished townhouse over three floors
• Five bedrooms and four bathrooms
• Far reaching views
• Impressive first floor drawing room
• Stylish kitchen with separate utility room
• Situated in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town
A newly refurbished Georgian townhouse over three floors in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town.
28 Great King Street, Edinburgh
coming soon Offers over £1.7M
• Superb 3 bedroom duplex apartment
• Perfect balance of bedrooms and bathrooms
• Stunning traditional features with modern comforts
• Well appointed Poggenpohl kitchen
• Dedicated home office
By Ben Fox,
Head of Residential, Edinburgh Town
CGI for indicative purposes only
At the time of writing, footfall in Glasgow city centre remains well below pre-Covid-19 levels, with approximately 42% fewer shoppers on average frequenting our prime shopping streets. Out of town shopping centres, retail parks and neighbourhood retailing has fared better, as more people continue to work from home and shop locally, often avoiding public transport connections to the city centre. This is an inevitable trend of the pandemic and one that is not just unique to Glasgow but mirrored throughout the UK. That said, the picture since July 2021 has been one of steady footfall improvement, although the Omicron variant has inevitably dented hopes of a sharp rise as we move into the opening months of 2022.
How has Glasgow’s retail market adapted and where are the opportunities?
FROM CRISIS COMES OPPORTUNITY. . .
To see ten significant transactions (eight of which Savills advised on) complete is a fantastic vote of confidence for retailing in the city.
Looking at Glasgow’s retail footfall in more detail gives us an insight into hotspot areas in the city that are attracting a higher proportion of visitors. Savills heat map shows a far from uniform picture, with the pandemic revealing some pronounced differences in footfall recovery between districts.
Prior to Covid-19, Sauchiehall Street was already struggling. Vacancy rates were escalating and there was limited tenant demand, although the thoroughfare was popular with office workers at the busy lunchtime period. Now with the rise of home working, the absence of office workers has acted as a brake on visitor recovery, with footfall sitting at just 50% of pre-pandemic levels. Similarly, Gordon Street`s reliance on office workers and commuting traffic from Central Station has slowed footfall recovery. In contrast, Ingram Street has experienced footfall levels higher than they were prior to the pandemic. With an improving line up of luxury brands and renewed appetite from customers looking to get back to the shops as restrictions eased, Ingram Street has been the surprising standout, with November 2021 footfall figures back to 94% of pre-Covid-19 levels. Further south, Argyle Street footfall was sitting at 55% of pre-pandemic levels in November, but notably this southern district of the City Centre is now characterised as a development hotspot. Four new hotels south of St Enoch Square (Premier Inn, Adagio, Clayton and Virgin) have added 1000 rooms in a concentrated area, and St Enoch Shopping Centre has been experiencing its own transformation with a £40m investment triggering the arrival of 20 new brands including VUE, Gutterball, Boom Battle Bar, TJ Hughes, Cosmo, Nando`s, Handmade Burger Co, 1-Lux and Gloria Jeans.
he impacts of Covid-19 on bricks and mortar shopping are well documented with rising vacancy
rates, online competition, retailer casualties and falling footfall never
far from the news headlines.
This cocktail of factors has created a perfect storm for the sector, which in many areas of the country was already under acute pressure before the pandemic. Glasgow has, for many years, been one of the most resilient UK cities from a retailing perspective, but is that still the case for Scotland`s largest city?
Prime rental values in Glasgow city centre adjusted sharply downwards during the pandemic, with a volatility never experienced before. From a peak of £320 Zone A in 2019, rents fell in Q1 2021 to £160 Zone A. Major brands looking at Buchanan Street pay premium rents for two key reasons - high footfall and high sales penetration, and with neither evident earlier in 2021, a number of transactions were brokered at sharply lower rents, either on a fixed rent or turnover rent basis. More recently however, we have seen a rebound in rental values to approximately £240 Zone A and we expect these rents to steadily increase during the course of 2022.
Retailer confidence in Glasgow has remained buoyant and, to a considerable extent, occupier demand has tracked well ahead of the often challenging trading conditions, with occupiers tending to adopt a longer term view when considering their expansion strategies. While some chose to put their expansion plans on ice at the height of the crisis, many (well financed) brands took a contrary view and seized the opportunity to secure a more competitive rate and acquire new stores, in many cases at rents significantly lower than historic levels. Amongst those leading this approach were Peleton, All Saints, Rituals, Castore, Rayban, iSmash, Paperchase, Breitling, Laings and Watches of Switzerland, all of which made their move to secure new stores in Glasgow during 2021. To see ten significant transactions (eight of which Savills advised on) complete is a fantastic vote of confidence for retailing in the city. With footfall expected to recover and further international brands now casting an eye to open in 2022, retailing once again promises to be at the heart of Glasgow`s renaissance.
The spotlight remains on recovery beyond the clear trading challenges in the opening quarter of the year, and in that respect the prognosis for 2022 is, in fact, encouraging. Our streets have at times looked visibly busier and this trend is expected to gather pace as people gradually rediscover their city centres as places to work, shop and socialise.
Glasgow also has a fantastic casual dining scene with a mix of national and local operators vying for business across the cuisine spectrum, and complementing this in 2022 we will see a number of exciting new leisure operators opening in the city including Flight Club, Gutterball and Boom Battle Bar. Seeing the emergence of more experiences in our city centres is a trend being mirrored nationwide, and in Glasgow the prospects look bright for this sector and the evening economy. This should have a direct positive impact on the city’s retail market as dwell time increases.
Head of National Retail
By John Menzies,
The present climate of Glasgow`s retail market gives us an interesting insight into some key trends we are seeing nationwide. The city is continuing to experience a period of considerable change, but paradoxically, it is also a market that has been notable for a significant level of retail and leisure leasing activity last year, which Savills predicts will continue in 2022
Glasgow Footfall by thoroughfare - % of footfall
in November 2021 v November 2019
November 2021 v November 2019 (Pre Covid-19) Footfall – Prime UK City Centres
The University achieved Planning Permission in Principle in 2017 for up to 600,000 sq ft (55,742 sq m) of commercial accommodation forming the potential initial seed assets of the Joint Venture including an Innovation Zone, student residences, retail and leisure, hotels, serviced apartments and commercial accommodation, with additional significant development sites also likely to be available over the next decade. Bruce Patrick, director in the development team and head of Savills Glasgow office, explains further: “This is an outstanding opportunity to partner with the University of Glasgow to deliver a scheme that will provide an exciting, unique new destination in the West End and also enable the University in the delivery of wider strategic objectives.
The Innovation Zone will support a new eco-system and engine for growth in the Glasgow City Region, contributing through new sectors, clusters and industries to the prosperity and wellbeing of the city.”
A University of Glasgow spokesperson echoes this sentiment: “We are pleased to be able to move forward with the next phase of our landmark Campus Development Programme, by seeking a Joint Venture Partner to help us realise our objective to create a world class learning and research environment that offers an outstanding student and staff experience on our new Western campus. This will be an accessible and welcoming gateway onto the Western campus, with facilities to promote engagement with industry and academic partners, as well as the public. Under these proposals, the University will develop an Innovation Zone to incubate research and development partnerships, as well as space for spin-out and academic-industry collaboration. It will also include
high-quality residential and commercial opportunities, which will complement and enhance our vibrant campus. We look forward to working over coming months to develop our partnership and proposals.”
The University promoted the opportunity through Public Contracts Scotland and is now taking successful parties from stage one through to a second round of proposals.
avills, on behalf of The University of Glasgow, has been appointed to find a strategic commercial partner to form
a Joint Venture partnership with the University in a unique opportunity to develop, retain, manage and curate a new Mixed-Use Quarter and Innovation Zone in Glasgow’s internationally renowned West End. This project forms part of the University’s £1 billion Campus Development Programme, which is expanding its campus to include a new 14-acre site in the heart of Glasgow’s West End. The programme has completed one building, the James McCune Smith Learning Hub, with three buildings currently in development: the ARC (Advanced Research Centre), Clarice Pears Building for the Institute of Health and Wellbeing and the Adam Smith Business School and Post Graduate Hub, surrounded by high quality public realm and infrastructure enhancements.
NEW MIXED USE QUARTER AND INNOVATION ZONE AT UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW
By Bruce Patrick,
Head of Mixed Use Development Scotland
Not only is Scotland’s hotel market proving popular with visitors and operators, but we have also seen investors show a renewed appetite over the last 12 months. By Q3 2021, our figures showed investment volumes at £65 million across nine transactions, including the Scores Hotel St Andrews, where Savills advised a private vendor on the acquisition and Bruntsfield Hotel Edinburgh, with many deals taking place during the first half of the year when hotels in Scotland had still not fully reopened. Buyers were confident of a strong return and despite hotels going through a phased re-opening, had confidence in the resilience of the Scottish market. When hotels did actually open in May 2021, it generated further confidence in the market. In fact, the Scottish hotel market saw investment volumes reach £185 million at the end of 2021 representing a 166% increase on the £70 million transacted in 2020 and is 12% up on the 2019 total of £165 million. Contrary to previous years, domestic buyers edged ahead in the share of deals they accounted for at 54% with international buyers slightly behind with a 46% market share.
Scotland’s strong hotel market is likely to be propelled even further by the commitment and subsequent opening of high profile and established brands including the W Hotel Edinburgh, which will open at St James Quarter in Winter 2022 and Virgin Hotel, arriving in both Glasgow and Edinburgh city centres in March 2022. In addition to this, we have Gleneagles expanding through the introduction of a private members’ club in the heart of Edinburgh that will also offer 33 bedrooms. Each of these exciting brands will undoubtedly further enhance the profile of these locations to visitors. The fact that Virgin Hotels in particular signed during the pandemic is a huge endorsement for the Scottish market and underlines the potential and resilience of the region as a tourist and business destination. There is also a strong proportion of independent brands, with new operators looking to enter the market, which is creating lots of variety & diversity.
Roxburghe Hotel & Golf
Scores Hotel Grounds & Hotel
Maldron Hotel Glasgow
espite the inevitable impact of hotels essentially being closed during the pandemic, Scotland was high up the staycation list when restrictions began to ease after the first lockdown.
As a result, the Scottish hotels market has performed relatively well over the last 12 months as people have got back to doing the things they enjoy again. For Scotland in particular, the fully immersive experience that the region offers in terms of culture, nature and breathtaking scenery, combined with a good transport network and a strong mix of local, national and international retail and leisure brands, has added a unique appeal for visitors. Not to mention that the hotel markets in Glasgow and Edinburgh are undoubtedly two of the strongest in the UK, both as popular tourist and business destinations.
Scotland’s hotel market checks in for strong 2022
The market will be entering 2022 with the strong sentiment of 2021 behind it, however, the sector faces a number of headwinds; Government support has been slowly tapered with the withdrawal of the furlough scheme at the end of September and the VAT rate for retail and hospitality increased from 5% to 12.5%, before returning to the standard 20% on 1st April 2022. Looking forward, as businesses increasingly put ESG at the forefront of their strategic plan, what will that look like for the sector?
Whilst a recovery was expected as restrictions were lifted, the phased recovery that was dictated by demographics was more of a surprise. Following the roll-out of the vaccine, it was the over 50s who were back in Glasgow
and Edinburgh’s hotels first, with late teens and early 20’s opting for holiday lets and camping. This phased demographic return also dictated which hotels become busiest first, with a clear split between the luxury end and more limited service offerings. For both categories we saw pricing soar with average room rates in Scotland increasing by 36% in August 2021 versus the same month the previous year. Hotels remained versatile in adapting to the ever changing rules and regulations, coping remarkably well and producing some solid trading results. As other holiday options become popular again, we expect to see pricing levels balance out, but the initial surge has helped operators recoup some of the losses caused by the pandemic.
By Steven Fyfe,
The recent focus on cities and the built environment at COP26 brings the challenges and future direction of our urban centres into sharp relief.
The Princes Street renaissance
or us, being back in our office with greater frequency means re-engaging with Princes Street. While the city’s arguably
most famous street was once also its prime retail destination,
it is probably fair to say it hasn’t held that status in a while.
In the Edinburgh context, the changing demands for prime floorspace and the reintroduction of the supercharged St James Quarter this year – comprising some 850,000 sq ft of high-quality, modern floorspace to showcase brands and lifestyles, which translates as 21% of Edinburgh city centre’s entire retail offer –
have landed at the same time. George Street similarly is gaining in popularity, with a number of new brands known to have active requirements there and future streetscape enhancements incoming. The excellent Multrees Walk links the two. In our view, continuous improvement and competition within a city is no bad thing.
While there have been a few key relocations to St James, it is the non-related closure of the major department stores which have created noticeable change. The general consensus is that Princes Street could, and should, do better. After all, the location – with its high impact position beneath the castle, and glorious gardens running along one side – remains uniquely scenic and central, and footfall continues to be very strong (with some summer counts actually above pre-pandemic levels). It is also backed by outstanding proximity to rail, bus and tram links.
Princes Street, Edinburgh
St James Quarter Edinburgh
So how to move forward? What could Princes Street be like in 10 years’ time?
Firstly, it is important to take stock. Fundamentally, the inherent value of town centres lies in their place as a point of interaction
and exchange in which commerce, work and leisure are intertwined.
The key goal must be the creation of sustainably accessible places with amenities which people are drawn to and want to visit. This can’t just be 9-5, or only retail, but needs to include building use which provides diversity and creates vitality in the night-time economy too.
Given the need for any repurposing to be sustainable, this means the conversion and reuse of existing floorspace. For years, many upper floors on Princes Street have been monumentally under-exploited, partly because of the planning policy protection for ground floor retailing. Add in the vacated department stores and there is a plethora of large spaces offering excellent repurposing opportunities for forward-thinking developers and investors.
Like buses, Princes Street has an abundance of opportunity all at once, and the first green shoots are already here. The former House of Fraser building has been transformed into the Johnnie Walker Experience, where there has been enormous investment to create
a quality destination, drawing locals and tourists alike to western Princes Street.
At the other end, the former Jenners building is earmarked for redevelopment and will ultimately make a world-class home for
a new occupier.
A Premier Inn is due to open in the former BHS building and below it modernised ground floor retail space, more appropriately sized for the current market, is available and a leisure operator is lined up for the basement. Meanwhile the building which once housed Debenhams is on its way through planning and could likely become a new hotel. Residential opportunities are also being unlocked
Edinburgh is a global city in high demand from all aspects of the property sector including residential and commercial. Macro socio-economic, technological and environmental changes will continue to influence, generate and challenge commercial demand and
As such, it will be key for the incoming Edinburgh City Plan 2030 – currently subject to public consultation – to get it right and be sufficiently agile to stimulate ideas and harness investment potential. Once adopted, the City Plan will set out planning policy against which all development proposals in Edinburgh will be assessed for up to ten years, a period which will define the next chapter of Edinburgh’s most iconic street for a generation.
By Adam Richardson,
Associate Director Planning
Associate Director Development
opportunities, meaning the planning policy governing Princes
Street and the wider centre network needs to be more dynamic than ever, supporting alternative (but still footfall-generating) uses. The key is in flexibility and market-led evolution, with opportunities also for smaller business units and eateries promising to add a missing element of café culture to Princes Street.
An interview with
FRONT COVER FEATURE INTERVIEW
OK, so I left school with little to show in terms of education. Like you, I had ambition, but also a real sense of duty, and a desire to join the armed forces. Two episodes in the military followed; one ended with a shoulder injury, then after working for 18 months in the civilian world I managed to re-join following some training. Six months or so into my tour in Afghanistan I lost both of my legs in a blast, which sent me on a lonely journey through recovery and rehab. As part of that I turned to sport, which has always been a constant in my life. I first found rowing which gave me a reason to get out of bed every day. Participating in competitive sport ultimately moved me into the high performance world, as part of the Para Nordic skiing programme. I went to my first Paralympics in Sochi as an observer in 2014; it was actually the first time Para Nordic skiing was part of the games, a great showcase for the sport. I was just totally amazed by the level these guys were competing at, what they were overcoming and achieving and I knew instantly it was something I wanted to try. I’m now preparing to compete in my second Paralympic Games in Beijing in March, so will be disappearing for the rest of the winter shortly.
You have an incredible and uplifting story. You are clearly passionate about Para Nordic sport, tell me more about it and why you love it so much.
As a newly disabled young man, I was constantly being lifted and shifted everywhere I went, and everyone and his dog was patting me on the head and saying ‘well done’ for being a military veteran – it was very much the cause to support at the time. Rowing turned all of that on its head. While I first got involved as part of rehab, there was a realisation that if I wanted to be really good at this, and be recognised for achieving something, I was going to have to put some serious work in. I found that incredibly refreshing.
I was so inspired by the Para Nordic athletes I saw in Sochi. They were next level physically tough, and competing in the harshest winter conditions. The sport combines massive endurance, technical ability and split-second decision-making – then there’s the bi-athlete element where you have to combine all this with accuracy. For me, it’s just the ultimate all-round sport and, when you strip it back, the experience is not unlike being a soldier. It’s about being able to operate when you’re fatigued, stressed and in high-stake scenarios. That’s what really appealed to me. I’m glad I consciously chose to put myself way out my comfort zone and choose this sport over rowing. What about you? I guess when you joined Savills for the first time it may not necessarily have been planned, but the second time it was.
How did you get to where you are today, Cameron?
I left university with a management and marketing degree and a lot of drive but very little idea of what I actually wanted to do. One of my first interviews was with Savills to sell country houses from the Edinburgh office, and I was offered the job. As it turned out, I liked selling property, and thankfully appeared to be good at it. Seven years later, an opportune meeting with the UK Head of Residential opened bigger doors for me and I was brought down to sell high end properties in the Home Counties.
At that point, everything I touched seemed to turn into gold, and in 2013 I was pinched by a competitor to set up their Cambridge office - a step up career-wise. But I missed the Savills culture and it wasn’t long before I was presented with a route back to Savills and to Scotland. When my two kids arrived, and the opportunity arose to lead Savills Glasgow residential office in 2017, I jumped at it. I then took over running the wider Scottish region two years later.
What about you, Scott, can you tell me about your journey?
RED SKY MANAGEMENT HELPS PEOPLE IN THE BUSINESS AND SPORTING WORLDS TO CONVERT THEIR POTENTIAL INTO CONTINUAL, EXCEPTIONAL DEVELOPMENT. They have brought together two MEN WHO ARE CURRENTLY OPERATING AT THE TOP LEVEL AND LEADING HIGH PERFORMANCE TEAMS: SCOTT MEENAGH, ONE OF THE UK’S MOST INSPIRING ATHLETES WHO WILL BE COMPETING IN THE 2022 PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES IN BEIJING IN MARCH 2022, AND SAVILLS HEAD OF RESIDENTIAL AGENCY IN SCOTLAND, CAMERON EWER. HERE THEY DISCUSS AMBITION, SPORT, TEAM WORK, SUCCESS AND LESSONS LEARNED ALONG THE WAY.
I was just totally amazed by the level these guys were competing at, what they were overcoming and achieving and I knew instantly it was something I wanted to try.
I have identified the people who can help me achieve a specific goal, and knowing there is no rush removes the stress. If I take time to do something properly and bring people with me, I’ve got a better chance of getting there and enjoying the journey.
Coming into Savills aged 21 and knowing nothing, I was lucky that the career fitted with my skills. Moving to the London office in 2010 showed me that Savills distinctive culture of positivity, support and entrepreneurship existed company-wide. I bought into how they did things - essentially allowing good people to work hard, progress and have fun doing it. When the competitor came knocking with a new challenge in Cambridge, it seemed like the best thing for my family: it was a city I had previous exposure to and, due to family circumstances at that time, I had a personal connection with the place. The move was also the making of me as an agent, manager and leader. I had left Savills having enjoyed a charmed career so far, but was returning to it as a grown up with something to prove, and it was very much a deliberate choice to do that.
When I made the decision to pursue Para Nordic skiing competitively, I was a funded athlete on the Paralympic high performance rowing programme, one of the most streamlined professional sporting systems in the UK. While it could have been seen as a leap of faith to go into an unfunded sport, in which the UK hadn’t been represented in 26 years, it felt so energising. I could take the lessons I had learned from an environment where we had coaches, nutritionists, physios, performance analysts and physiologists, and embark on a brand new journey. We were daring to dream and forging a new sport for others to follow and that was hugely exciting.
I try to encourage the young people who come into Savills to appreciate how big the opportunities are in front of them, and to make conscious decisions about their development here. There are many doors open – they just need a little nudge. Some might feel grateful to have a job, they work hard and keep their heads down, but I’ve realised since coming back that it’s different here - there’s so much more to go after than just your own little niche, there is internal movement and all kinds of pathways to follow. Helping people to achieve their potential is something I’m really interested in and I’d love to know how you balance being at the forefront of a sport and taking care of your own performance, whilst encouraging others to come up behind you?
You are right about blazing a trail. Whether it’s sport or business, it’s the same for anyone who wants to fulfil their ambition and leave a legacy. You’re the UK’s advocate of this sport and you must feel that your team’s performance sort of depends on yours and in that way you’re giving yourself a lot of pressure. You often talk about ‘we’ rather than ‘I’ and it’s true, the best results happen by teams with shared values, objectives and results. When I came back in 2017, I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform at the highest level but hadn’t factored in that I had moved to a new city, I didn’t know the local market and was picking up a new team. My biggest fear was failing to meet my own and others’ expectations, or to provide for my family. I wasn’t particularly kind or good to myself at that point. I became insular, looking inward to solve problems and didn’t utilise the team around me, or reach out for help. I was still delivering results-wise, and as part of my promotion to lead the Scottish region,
I was assigned a professional coach. That was the turning point for me. Their message was, I had not been put in the position to see if I could do the job, but because I could already do the job. The moment I started believing that was when I grew as a person. I recognised it was the things I’d been doing for the last 15 years that had led me here and, more importantly, I could inspire my team and bring them with me into the vision of how I saw us growing together. We’ve since all developed as individuals with a greater self-belief, and it’s much more fun. I no longer define myself by the bottom line, it’s what I do over the next ten years that matters - as an employer, as a father, as a husband. I’ve dropped the guilt; I’m not going to carry that any more.
I try to show the team you can be world class at what you do, while not taking yourself too seriously, and you can put a hand out to pull others up at the same time. If I show it every day, rather than tell them, they can choose to follow that. You mentioned the opportunity to push an open door, and it resonated with me. I get to talk to young athletes in other sports and I tell them that this is our chance to make a bit of noise and kick the door open because it is a very short career. We will spend the rest of our lives reflecting on these times, the moments we played for Scotland or represented the UK - these are our best years, so let’s make the most of it. You can’t blaze a trail if you don’t know the destination, so what are you going to do with the opportunity? When are you going to kick that door down and make something happen?
I think the thing I am most proud of in my life is finally having the ability to reach out and accept help, on both a mental and technical level. It’s really interesting to hear you say that you have learned to trust others too. In the past I was concerned that team members wouldn’t do something as well as me, and that made it really hard to delegate. But I have learned to give people a chance and they have astonished me, showing how I could do things significantly better, and that’s been the key for real growth. I look back and I’m proud of where I have got to. I know I still carry things for longer than I should, but I now at least have the awareness and when I get too weighed down I’ll happily let go.
I think I have reached ten out of ten in being prepared to ask for help, whether that’s personal or professional. I am much more vocal about what is going on, and it’s that constant checking in with myself and with others that makes the difference. Some days you can achieve a lot, others are harder, and I’ve learned to set realistic goals for those times. More importantly, I’ve learned how to put things in place so that tomorrow is a much better day. I have excellent mentors within the business and clear objectives to work towards.
I have identified the people who can help me achieve a specific goal, and knowing there is no rush removes the stress. If I take time to do something properly and bring people with me, I’ve got a better chance of getting there and enjoying the journey. What about you, can you clearly see the road ahead in your own career?
Thank you so much for sharing that. I am amazed at the synergies. For me, performance and mental wellbeing go hand in hand. If I am not happy, excited and mentally fresh, doing it with
a smile and enjoying the journey, then I can’t accept that I have performed well. Personally, I don’t see there is any point otherwise. Competing began as part of my rehab, but it was also an opportunity to see the world. I might no longer be able to walk up a Munro or go into the wilderness the way other people can. But on a platform that is water and snow, when I’m cross country skiing I can go anywhere I want and there is exploration and therapy in that. I often try and remember to appreciate that feeling when I am in a high-stakes, highly competitive environment: when I’m flying down the hill at forty miles an hour in high winds in the middle of a world cup, in a race, side-by-side with my team mate, turning to him and shouting, “How good is this?”
Agreed, I’ve always loved being part of a team, it’s one of the reasons I enjoyed playing rugby so much and a large part of why I’m with Savills now. But in the last 18 months, when people have spent a lot of time alone, it’s become absolutely paramount to check in; on their performance of course, but more importantly
on how they are feeling, because if they are not happy, they won’t perform to their best. I have to trust, support and inspire my team. That leads to growth for everyone,including me. I love going out on a pitch with others to see how they do it: how they deal with people is always interesting. I’ve got some amazing colleagues from different walks of life, and our organisation is opening up all the time, with more diversity, inclusion and gender equality. It’s genuinely a great place to be and I don’t say that lightly: we’ve been ranked as Graduate Employer of Choice for almost 20 years in a row. Different people bring new approaches and I’m constantly learning from them and testing out new ways of handling something. And I’ve realised I can’t do everything myself, we have efficient processes and an inspired, capable team who can share the load. But what about you, where are you now in terms of asking for help?
I think the thing I am most proud of in my life is finally having the ability to reach out and accept help, on both a mental and technical level.
When I fell in love with Para Nordic skiing, being a good ambassador for the sport held equal importance to my own training and performance. Sometimes I still find myself thinking I have to put my arm round everyone and convince them this is a great idea. When you’ve been used to doing everything for yourself, it can be hard to let go. But I can
now comfortably say that if I walked away from the sport tomorrow, there will be generations of athletes within UK Para Nordic sport. We are fully funded, we are in a system which is under the umbrella of a larger organisation, with
a team of professionals supporting us. I have come to the conclusion that I now just need to trust the system and the team around me and be the very best performer I can be.
In order to make a bit of noise and an impact on the world stage around Para Nordic, it’s essential now that I focus on my own performance. You can still do that and put your hand out to others, to make sure that the road you leave behind
is a smoother, easier one for others to follow.
SM: I think the thing I am most proud of in my life is finally having the ability to reach out and accept help, on both a mental and technical level. It’s really interesting to hear you say that you have learned to trust others too. In the past I was concerned that team members wouldn’t do something as well as me, and that made it really hard to delegate. But I have learned to give people a chance and they have astonished me, showing how I could do things significantly better, and that’s been the key for real growth. I look back and I’m proud of where I have got to. I know I still carry things for longer than I should, but I now at least have the awareness and when I get too weighed down I’ll happily let go.
CE: I think I have reached ten out of ten in being prepared to ask for help, whether that’s personal or professional. I am much more vocal about what is going on, and it’s that constant checking in with myself and with others that makes the difference. Some days you can achieve a lot, others are harder, and I’ve learned to set realistic goals for those times. More importantly, I’ve learned how to put things in place so that tomorrow is a much better day. I have excellent mentors within the business and clear objectives to work towards. I have identified the people who can help me achieve a specific goal, and knowing there is no rush removes the stress. If I take time to do something properly and bring people with me, I’ve got a better chance of getting there and enjoying the journey. What about you, can you clearly see the road ahead in your own career?
SM: When I fell in love with Para Nordic skiing, being a good ambassador for the sport held equal importance to my own training and performance. Sometimes I still find myself thinking I have to put my arm round everyone and convince them this is a great idea. When you’ve been used to doing everything for yourself, it can be hard to let go. But I can now comfortably say that if I walked away from the sport tomorrow, there will be generations of athletes within UK Para Nordic sport. We are fully funded, we are in a system which is under the umbrella of a larger organisation, with a team of professionals supporting us. I have come to the conclusion that I now just need to trust the system and the team around me and be the very best performer I can be. In order to make a bit of noise and an impact on the world stage around Para Nordic, it’s essential now that I focus on my own performance. You can still do that and put your hand out to others, to make sure that the road you leave behind is a smoother, easier one for others to follow.
Ben di Rollo, Head of Edinburgh Residential Development Sales lives in North Berwick, just a 25 minute train ride from the city, with his wife and two young children.
feel fortunate to have grown up in Edinburgh and now to be selling new build homes and renovated period conversions in this constantly evolving city. The capital always achieves a wonderful balance between the historic and the cutting edge and has long attracted sophisticated culture vultures with its myriad of art galleries, museums and award winning restaurants. However, these days I am learning that it’s also an inspiring place to spend a day with my young family…
IN A DAY
Amble through Sibbald Walk on to the Royal Mile, past the Scottish Parliament Building, taking in the extinct crags of Arthur’s Seat before heading into the Dynamic Earth visitor attraction.
Begin your journey here by entering the Deep Time Machine and witness the Big Bang first hand. Rocket through the universe in a spaceship travelling billions times faster than the speed of light and see stars explode. Feel the ground shudder as molten lava speeds towards you and volcanoes erupt.
All this time-travelling will have built up an appetite, so head out to the cobbled streets, up the Cowgate and back across the Royal Mile on to Cockburn Street for some lunch at La Locanda. In true Italian style, this restaurant serves up a relaxed dining experience for the whole family as well as truly authentic Italian cuisine.
Stroll down Cockburn Street and hop on one of Edinburgh’s open top bus tours where you can take in the sites, hear the Horrible History narration of the city’s past and choose many locations to jump on and off along the way. Kids also go free for a good part of the year!
Hop off the bus at The National Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street and let the kids’ minds wander while they burn off energy as they explore the many different exhibitions and collections. Once they have run up and down the Grand Gallery enough times, it’s your cue to move on.
Arrive at Waverley Train Station in the heart of Edinburgh’s city centre in the historic Old Town. A short walk along East Market Street takes you to Loudons Café, which forms part of the New Waverley development, for some freshly prepared breakfast, including a caffeine hit for the adults and a babyccino for the kids.
Walk across The Grassmarket and head back up Cockburn Street to the Harry Potter Emporium where you can pick up a woollen scarf of your chosen house or select your magic wand.
Jump back on the open top bus and take in the remaining sites before jumping off outside the world famous Balmoral Hotel (fun fact – The Balmoral clock is only ever correct once a year and that is at Hogmanay; the rest of the time it is five minutes fast in order to help you make your train at nearby Waverley Station) and head into the brand new St James Quarter, a recently opened retail centre and residential development close to the east end of Edinburgh’s Princes Street.
As you walk through the beautifully designed new shopping centre, taking in the range of designer and high street names, a compulsory stop at the Lego store will allow you to collect ideas for birthdays before heading up to Lane 7 on the top floor, for some fun ten pin bowling under neon lights and perhaps a well-deserved drink for the adults.
To prevent any debates starting on what food to eat you may wish to head straight across the top floor to Bonnie and Wild Marketplace, where you can find some of Scotland’s best independent food and drink producers, all under one roof.
Cross George IV Bridge and have your photo taken with the legendary Greyfriars Bobby dog statue before heading down into The Grassmarket. Nestled under Edinburgh Castle it is home to a range of independent boutiques, artisan restaurants and some characterful pubs. Grab some well earned gelato at Mary’s Milk Bar (for the children, of course) and sit on one of the benches taking in the hustle and bustle of this vibrant enclave.
Ben Di Rollo,
Head of Residential Sales Edinburgh
PLEASE DO CHECK INDIVIDUAL WEBSITES OR GIVE EACH ATTRACTION A CALL BEFORE YOU VISIT, AS SOME MAY REQUIRE YOU TO BOOK IN ADVANCE IN CURRENT CIRCUMSTANCES.
The past two years have been like no other for the wedding market. With more time spent at home while weddings have been postponed, engaged couples have become experts in researching the sector. They read reviews, watch video tours, research pricing and expect easy access to essential information.
ithout question, the pandemic will have a profound effect on how couples choose to celebrate their big day for some time to come, with a number of new trends emerging. Although most people have a connection with the area in which they choose to get married, there are an increasing number whose decision is based purely on finding something special or unusual. Destination weddings are rising in popularity, with couples opting to celebrate with their wedding party ‘away from it all’. Extended wedding festivities are also on the rise, with those lasting two to three days increasing by 26% in the last five years.
In addition, traditional hotel venues and historic stately homes are becoming less popular. More and more couples are looking for rustic alternatives such as barns, stables and courtyard conversions.
his idyllic East Lothian country estate enjoys a spectacular outlook over the coast and has been within the ownership of the Usher family for over 100 years. Since his return to Scotland in 2006, it has been home to Simon Usher, his wife Joyce and their two children, Thomas and Lucy. Their historic estate is set in beautifully kept grounds surrounded by sculptured ancient woodlands, rolling lawns, spring flowers and a magical walled garden. The jewel in the crown is a wonderful 15th century Gothic church. The couple, who share a love of the countryside, music and culture, saw the potential of their home to create a distinctive wedding enterprise. This would enable them to continue the family’s legacy at Dunglass and to invest in the estate, as well providing employment for local people while benefitting a range
of local suppliers and producers. To that end they hosted their first wedding at the estate in 2009. And with an eye on the expanding and diversifying wedding market they have more recently invested in a bespoke contemporary events space, as well as in the refurbishment, of the former stable courtyard complete with
sunken fire pit. Recognising the trend for longer wedding celebrations, they have also created a superb wooden treehouse, providing the perfect romantic overnight retreat for the wedding couple, complete with wraparound balcony and hot tub, offering views across the East Lothian coast and over to Fife. Three cottages
in the estate grounds, originally built to accommodate estate workers, now also provide stylish accommodation, each sleeping six, while Sea View House is available to a further eight guests.
CHANGING WEDDING TRENDS AND A FAIRYTALE VENUE
Personalisation is a growing trend: today’s brides and grooms tend to be hands-on, preferring to have some input into the format, design and décor of their wedding, so venues that provide a ‘blank canvas’ element and a flexible approach, supported by robust processes and trusted, high quality suppliers get quickly booked up. It makes business sense for venues to pay heed to the new trends in weddings. The overall value of the market is at an all-time high, with the average price paid rising to £31,974 in 2019. Religious ceremonies account for less than one third of all weddings, at 28%, and the most popular type of ceremony is now humanist, representing 49% of all ceremonies. Over 60% of couples have their ceremony at the same place as the reception, so those venues that also provide good overnight accommodation are in demand. While Saturday remains the most popular day to get married, with 44% still choosing this day, there is a big opportunity for venues to attract the remaining 56% who are open to considering other days.
ROBERT BURNS PAID TRIBUTE TO DUNGLASS ESTATE IN 1787, STATING, “IT IS THE MOST ROMANTIC SWEET PLACE I EVER SAW.” SINCE FIRST WELCOMING GUESTS TO THE ESTATE IN 2009, IT HAS PLAYED HOST TO MANY BEAUTIFUL WEDDINGS, AND ITS NEW PAVILLION NOW PROVIDES EXECPTIONAL CONTEMPORARY EVENTS SPACE ALL YEAR ROUND.
By Adam Davies,
Tourism and Leisure Specialist
Each of these examples represents a hugely significant commitment that will hopefully pave the way for other occupiers of this nature to create a base and invest in Aberdeen. They are also supported by the fact that the majority of the new ScotWind licences currently being applied for by a range of global energy companies, are situated within 100 miles of Aberdeen. It is most definitely a very exciting time for the city as it moves from oil and gas to green energy and renewables. The Scottish and UK government’s pledge of £27m towards ETZ and a further £6m towards the global underwater hub has reinforced the scale and ambition of this transition. These initiatives are the first steps towards Aberdeen and the northeast region achieving its ambition to be a global centre
for energy transition. The funding also represents a clear acknowledgement from both the Scottish and UK governments that Aberdeen has a key role to play in the UK’s energy transition as a whole. Moving forward, it’s going to be essential that the city works hard to re-skill people during this seismic shift and retains its talent to avoid a brain drain. This will be key for the success of Aberdeen’s position in the renewable sector as well as for attracting inward investment. We have a wealth of knowledge, expertise and talent within the city that can help us go from strength to strength and truly establish our position as a leading global destination for renewable energy.
The flagship infrastructure centre (‘the zone’) will be located next to the city’s new £350m deep water harbour, and aims to provide a physical location offering first class and exemplar net zero facilities for renewable projects involving wind and hydrogen production. So how will the ETZ impact the city? Put simply, it has the potential to be completely transformational. The primary goal of the project is to attract more renewable businesses to Aberdeen through the delivery of best in class, energy-efficient buildings and infrastructure. With demand for this type of product increasing, there is a real opportunity for existing landlords in the city, where buildings are being repurposed, reconfigured or redeveloped, to follow suit and improve the energy efficiency of their properties. There are also plans to repurpose the brownfield sites of East Tullos and Altens, which are in close proximity to ‘the zone’; this could result in a knock-on effect in the wider Aberdeen area, improving energy efficiency and sustainability beyond the city centre.
s part of this, the city of Aberdeen, with the support of the Scottish and UK Government, has committed to creating an Energy Transition Zone (ETZ), which aims to deliver the northeast of Scotland’s ambition to be a globally recognised centre for energy transition, delivering net-zero activity.
FOR MORE THAN 30 YEARS, ABERDEEN HAS BEEN AT THE HEART OF THE UK’S OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY. BUT WITH NET ZERO TARGETS BEING SET ACROSS THE GLOBE, THE CITY IS SHIFTING ITS FOCUS ONTO RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES.
HOW WILL ABERDEEN’S ENERGY TRANSITION ZONE BOOST THE CITY?
By Claire Herriot,
Associate Director, Business Space – Savills, Aberdeen
n this respect, the transition zone should lead the way and set the example for other landlords, which will inevitably have a positive impact on Scotland’s ambitions to become carbon neutral by the earlier date of 2045. The renewable occupiers that the city hopes to attract will undoubtedly have stringent criteria in terms of the energy efficiency of their facilities and it is therefore vital that the buildings within the ETZ, and Aberdeen as a whole, meet this need across both office and industrial accommodation. By delivering net zero state-of-the-art infrastructure, ETZ has been designed to act as a catalyst in accelerating energy transition projects in the region. Aberdeen already has some of the infrastructure and skills in place to advance into the renewables sector and we have seen examples of occupiers recognising this through their commitment to the city.
Last year, ERM – the largest global pure play sustainability consultancy, chose Aberdeen as the location for the world’s first offshore green hydrogen floating facility, as a result of the city’s ongoing investment in hydrogen production and the facilities being created at the new harbour. We have also seen Aberdeen
City Council select BP as the
preferred bidder to help build
a green hydrogen production hub, with the intention of establishing Aberdeen as a ‘world-class base’ for hydrogen. In addition to this, TotalEnergies opened its UK Offshore Wind Hub in Aberdeen in October 2021, which will form part of the company’s existing offshore operations centre in the city.
‘A’ LISTED CASTLE ON THE MARKET FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A CENTURY AND A HALF
THERE ARE THREE ESTATE COTTAGES INCLUDED IN THE SALE, WHICH HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO GENERATE INCOME THROUGH HOLIDAY LETS.
By Evelyn Channing,
Head of Rural Agency Scotland
ONE OF SCOTLAND’S FINEST A-LISTED CASTLES IS BEING SOLD FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ALMOST 150 YEARS. CARESTON CASTLE DATES FROM THE 13TH CENTURY AND HAS BEEN IN THE OWNERSHIP OF THE ADAMSON FAMILY SINCE 1872. THIS EXQUISITE FORTIFIED MANSION HOUSE OF OUTSTANDING ARCHITECTURAL MERIT STANDS PROUDLY IN GLORIOUS SURROUNDINGS. SET AGAINST THE BEAUTIFUL HEATHER-CLAD BACKDROP OF THE ANGUS GLENS AND WITHIN 345 ACRES OF ROLLING COUNTRYSIDE, IT IS ENCIRCLED BY BEAUTIFUL GARDENS, MATURE PARKLAND AND THRIVING WOODLAND, WHICH TOGETHER OFFER WONDERFUL SECLUSION AND PRIVACY.
pproached via imposing gates and sweeping driveway, Careston is constructed in distinctive red sandstone and adorned with crowstepped gables, castellated turrets, astragal windows and pillared loggia. The interiors are equally impressive and incorporate an array of wonderful original features. Yet despite its grandeur, the castle is a much-cherished home offering practical living and entertaining space. It encompasses six bedrooms and four large reception rooms as well as ample guest accommodation. Extensive areas of lawn surround the castle to the west and south. Formal gardens lie to the east and form two distinct sheltered halves: an extensive area of lawn enclosed in part by a high beech hedge with rose cages accessed from the paved terrace below, an ideal spot for al fresco dining; and a productive flower and vegetable garden. Stretching the full length of the
garden wall is a broad herbaceous border producing cut flowers and foliage from early spring to late autumn. Positioned in the centre of this garden is a greenhouse gifted as a wedding present to Col. and Mrs W J Adamson in 1947, with an adjoining extensive netted fruit and vegetable cage. On the edge of the garden area there is an enclosed all weather tennis court. The south lawn, directly to the front of the castle, is ideal for a marquee and a stone’s throw from the local parish church of Careston which lies a short distance away to the north.
The grounds also accommodate a range of attractive traditional outbuildings including former stables, garden stores, workshop, potting shed, dog kennels, and garaging for four cars. The original walled garden, which remains largely intact, lies to the southwest of castle and offers fantastic potential to be overhauled and used as intended.
There are three estate cottages included in the sale, which have the potential to generate income through holiday lets. In addition, there are 143 acres of arable land, 35 acres of pasture and 132 acres of mixed woodland to suit the growing number of buyers aspiring to become more self-sufficient. And with direct access on the A90, Dundee and Edinburgh cities just 24 and 85 miles away respectively, Careston is perfect for those looking to achieve a better work-life balance.
According to Evelyn Channing, head of rural agency in Scotland, “Not for nothing . . . was Careston Castle described by John Ochterlony in 1682 as a ‘great and most delicate house, well built, brave lights, and of a most excellent contrivance, without debait the best gentleman’s house in the shyre; extraordinaire much planting, delicate yards and gardens with stone walls, and excellent avenue with ane range of ash trees on every syde, ane excellent arbour, – for length and breadth, none in the countrey lyke it.’
Careston Castle is available for offers over £2,900,000.
iven the circumstances of the last 18 months, it is not surprising that the life sciences sector has been propelled into the spotlight and experienced an enormous period of growth. However, even prior to the pandemic, it was a sector that was rapidly gaining traction. In 2021 it attracted £87 billion in global venture capital investment to the end of November, which exceeds the 2020 total by 19%, according to data from PitchBook. This growth has translated into the real estate sector through a surge in demand for both incubator space and larger laboratory space as life science firms expand. Traditionally, we have seen life science firms occupying out of town locations on business parks providing pre-existing lab space. However, we are now beginning to see the sector move into more city centre locations as a result of the need to be close to the appropriate talent and finance, but also sit in closer proximity to academia and research institutions.
With demand for laboratory space growing substantially from both existing and new life science firms, the result is a distinct lack of supply for this type of space. The question moving forward will be where new space will come from?
One of the biggest opportunities is in those regional cities that have high-performing universities. For Scotland, the likes of Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Dundee all offer established universities that have Life Sciences at the core of their success. From tracking global capital raised by companies in the life science sector it is possible to see the geographical distribution
of growth companies that are growing through mergers & acquisitions, public offerings on the stock market, venture capital (VC) and private equity. During the last five years, Scotland has seen just over £920m of capital raising transactions for life science companies that are headquartered in Scotland, based upon data from PitchBook. The past two years has seen the total level of capital raised grow by 89% and 48% in 2019 and 2020, respectively. This is higher than the 48% and 41% for the
whole of the UK, in 2019 and 2020, respectively.
Across the globe, the future growth companies within the life science sector are those attracting VC. These companies tend to be working their way through the funding ‘rounds’, beyond Series A, as the companies prove their ability to grow, create revenues and ultimately profits. For Scotland, during the past five years,
VC investment has accounted for 50% of the total capital raised, compared to just 11% in the rest of the UK. Of course, there will be more corporate headquarters in the rest of the UK, where the larger mergers & acquisitions transactions will be recorded.
So where are we seeing this investment take shape in Scotland? Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee are all developing a presence in Life Sciences with their higher education institutes and medical schools leading the way. Looking at the 260+ capital raising companies within the life science sector in Scotland, it is interesting to see that Glasgow accommodates around 70,
which is a similar amount to Edinburgh. Aberdeen and Dundee accommodate around 40 companies between them. However, these two cities are also expected to grow, in the next few years, as a result of the strength of the academic institutions in the life science subjects and higher levels of equity, mostly as venture capital, to be invested in new opportunities. Edinburgh is a city that is certainly leading the way. Aside from its high ranking university, the city is also home to the Bio Quarter, one of the UK’s largest life sciences development opportunities. The Bio Quarter is a developing ecosystem of talent and facilities across a wide range of research and innovation and currently includes institutions such as:
• Edinburgh Royal Infirmary - 900 beds and is one of Scotland’s major acute teaching hospitals and tertiary care centres
• Royal Hospital for Children and Young People and Department of Clinical Neurosciences
• Simpsons Centre for Reproductive Health
• University of Edinburgh Medical School
• College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
• Chancellor’s Building, Edinburgh Medical School
• Queens Medical Research Institute
• Edinburgh Imaging
• Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic
• University of Edinburgh MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine
• NINE - Life Sciences Innovation Centre
The progression of the Bio Quarter’s ecosystem is an ongoing project that will continue to evolve and grow as the overall vision to create Edinburgh’s Health Innovation District comes to life.
Nurturing future growth and talent within Life Sciences is vital and as part of its ongoing commitment to this, Bio Quarter incorporates a commercial element at NINE and BioCubes, which was opened in 2012 and provides a variety of incubator and grow-on space for life sciences companies. Interestingly, this commercial part is owned and managed by Scottish Enterprise which in itself has been a significant investor into life-sciences related companies. In total, Scottish Enterprise has just over £450m of assets under management. Despite not being a large amount, in a global context, it is very encouraging to have an investment organisation that is investing in start-up and scale-up companies, some of which will be in the life science and human health sub-sectors. This bodes well for future growth of the life science sector in Scotland.
By Nick Penny,
Head of Savills Scotland
Whilst in the UK, Oxford, Cambridge and London remain the established, key life science hot spots, there is a real opportunity for Scotland to gain greater traction in this area, particularly given the lack of space currently constraining activity in this sector. The investment and vision that Scotland is building around Life Sciences will be essential in attracting and retaining the talent that is such a fundamental part of the continued progression and innovation within this sector.
IN TOTAL, SCOTTISH ENTERPRISE HAS JUST OVER £450M OF ASSETS UNDER MANAGEMENT.
BUYING RURAL PROPERTY WITH TOURISM POTENTIAL IN MIND
THE PANDEMIC TRIGGERED A SURGE IN BUYERS LOOKING TO MOVE TO THE COUNTRY LAST SUMMER, MANY HARBOURING INTENTIONS OF QUITTING CITY JOBS TO RUN THEIR OWN TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES. AS LEISURE AND TOURISM SPECIALISTS IN SCOTLAND,
WE ARE INCREASINGLY ASKED TO VISIT PROPERTIES TO ASSESS THEIR POTENTIAL TO GENERATE INCOME; CLIENTS ARE SPREAD ACROSS A WIDE SPECTRUM, FROM THOSE HOPING TO ESTABLISH A FEW GLAMPING PODS TO OTHERS WITH AMBITIONS OF CONVERTING DILAPIDATED COUNTRY HOUSES INTO BOUTIQUE VENUES.
espite our nation’s questionable weather, the tourists keep coming. Indeed, according to consumer research from VisitScotland, having ‘four seasons in one day’ adds to Scotland’s personality, while its landscape outshines all expectations, offering both ‘awe’ and ‘variety’ in abundance. In 2019, 15.5 million people visited Scotland, with 12 million coming from the UK.
In the same year there were 65.4 million nights spent in Scotland, an increase of 1.2 million from the previous year. During the pandemic, the shift in popularity from urban to rural holiday locations accelerated and we see domestic staycations remaining on trend in both the short and longer term. Yet, while it may be tempting to dream of living and working among Scotland’s mountains and glens, the UK tourism market is becoming increasingly competitive and would-be entrepreneurs hoping to cash in should take a number of factors into account when selecting the right property to buy.
By Alastair Gemmell,
Tourism and Leisure specialist
First and foremost, what are your goals? Do you envisage running a lifestyle business so that you can enjoy the glorious countryside around you, perhaps one which will allow you to semi-retire? Or are you planning and prepared to work around the clock to make the business a commercial success, in which case your personal attachment to the location may be of less importance?
Depending on circumstances, is your chosen location really the best place for your type of business? Does it work for your personal needs – for example, is it the right place to bring up a family? How will your business activity fit in with existing preferences and restrictions within the local community – you need to consider if, for instance, the additional traffic, deliveries and noise will be an issue for neighbouring properties. Is your location sufficiently connected for consumers and suppliers, even during a bad Scottish winter? It’s also important to consider the long term: is there an opportunity to expand within your chosen property?
Be clear who your audience will be and how to attract them. Look at your competition – both local and national – and consider where the gap for your USP might be. Don’t let your heart rule your head when it comes to your property search, especially in relation to tapping into customer footfall. To what extent does your chosen rural property and its location chime with growing themes within rural tourism, such as experience, wellness and sustainability? What is your route to market – in other words, how will you promote and sell your goods or service? Do you have the right expertise in an increasingly digital world?
How much are you prepared to spend to secure a property and do you need to set aside further funds for renovations and additional business purchases? If you need to borrow, engage the right financial adviser who can give best advice regarding both mortgage and business funding. If the property is being bought as a trading business, with assets used for that trade, then Scottish Land and Buildings Transaction Tax is likely to be based on non-residential rates, which are more favourable than residential rates. However, buyers should also be aware of additional dwellings tax (ADT) which will be applicable on the purchase of any additional residential properties (up to a total of five) based on 4 per cent of the residential value. Various reliefs apply and advice should be sought from a solicitor or tax specialist. Looking longer term, what are your aspirations for the business and for you personally in five to ten years? Does the property asset have good re-sale potential?
A good agent will be able to advise on whether planning permission is needed when it comes to change of use
and access rights. Further, many of Scotland’s historic buildings – from farm steadings to castles – are Listed
and will need special consents for any upgrading and renovation. The Scottish Parliament has recently voted
to support a licencing scheme, requiring all short-term let properties to be licenced by their local authority. Existing hosts and operators will have until 1 April 2023 to apply for a licence for each property operated as such, with all short term lets requiring to be licensed by 1 July 2024. They have also passed planning control zone regulations, enabling local authorities to designate key hotspots as ‘short-term let control areas’ where planning permission will be required for such properties.
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