Scotland | Building Scotland's Future

Scotland has moved on from the Independence Referendum in September 2014 and whilst the political debate may continue, her cities and regions are firmly focused on growth and development.

Scotland is seeing a renewed momentum for progress and growth, demonstrating to both Scottish and inward investors that opportunities exist and are being supported by investment and leadership from public sector bodies such as The Scottish Cities Alliance and City Deal. Building for the future, we see Henderson’s St James Quarter retail scheme set to significantly alter Edinburgh’s retail landscape. The office development at The Haymarket will tie in with the recently enlarged and enhanced transport hub at Edinburgh’s Haymarket Station. Glasgow too has its fair share of new builds with cranes punctuating the skyline.


Invest Glasgow and City Council CEO Annemarie O’Donnell are focused on the effective use of resources and, crucially, they want to engage with the business community to understand their needs to facilitate private sector investment. Stuart Patrick at the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce is fully supportive of this collaborative and dynamic engagement with the business community.

Colliers advised Renfrew District Council on the likely strategic and economic advantages of their infrastructure development proposals coming from City Deal funding.

Aberdeen and Edinburgh are poised to launch their own City Deal initiatives too.


Scotland has an established tourism industry and well publicised requirements for additional hotel bed spaces in the major cities. Glasgow, for example, is the fifth most visited city in the UK with high hotel occupancy rates. 2015 saw a 37% increase in visitors compared to the previous year, with visitor spend contributing around £687m to the city’s economy. The development of 3,000 new hotel beds across the star range is anticipated over the next few years.

The SSE Hydro has been a phenomenal success and is now the second busiest live entertainment arena in the world. Last year Colliers provided a Market and Financial Feasibility Study for a major new hotel development to take place adjacent to the Hydro by Carlson Rezidor who, in 2017, will open Europe’s first new build Radisson Red. We have also advised on hotel developments at Edinburgh Airport and at Waverly Gate in Edinburgh’s city centre.

It is clear that further demand and opportunities exist for appropriate hotel development in good locations and that Councils who may hold potential sites or buildings are very much alive to this potential and seek to engage with developers.


Private Rental Sector (PRS) development is now an established market in England, with Scotland following suit.

Most major Scottish cities have requirements for additional housing stock to meet demand and aspirations for future economic growth, with many seeing investment from PRS as an opportunity to kick start development on city centre sites which may also attract public sector infrastructure investment.

However, with the exception of the Dandara scheme in Aberdeen, PRS development in Scotland lags behind other UK regions.

Concerns over rental values and the possible impact of Scottish legislation to introduce rent control measures may have been over stated by the media. Recent Government clarification on proposed legislation allows for the operation of market forces for new leases and rental caps operating in only limited circumstances.

On a positive note the India Quay development in Edinburgh being led by EDI is the first significant PRS scheme proposed for the city.  The reality however is that Scotland has a need for new housing stock and time will tell how this is ultimately to be funded and developed.  As the PRS market in Scotland matures both the public and private sectors will need to align their policies and aspirations to achieve their shared goal of increased house building.

Colliers PRS team continue to liaise with the Public Sector in Scotland and are seeking opportunities to bring together development sites and funding, that will result in buildings coming out of the ground.

Please see page 30 of the 2016 Regionla Annual Review for further information about our PRS capabilities.

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