Candleriggs Square Flats Merchant City, Social Hub Glasgow centre apartments, Scottish property

Candleriggs Square Apartments Merchant City

Construction of The Student Hotel Begins at Candleriggs Square, Glasgow

post updated 15 May 2024

Drum & Stamford Welcome ‘Significant Milestone’ for £300 Million Transformation of Candleriggs Square

Regeneration Area Starts to Take Shape with the Opening of the ‘The Social Hub’ in UK First.

Social Hub at Candleriggs Square, Glasgow:
Social Hub Candleriggs Square Glasgow

Candleriggs Square Social Hub

A significant milestone has been reached in the £300 million regeneration of Candleriggs Square in Glasgow’s Merchant City, one of Scotland’s most high-profile city centre development sites. Developed by a joint venture bringing together Drum Property Group and Stamford Investments, the site has marked its first completed building following the highly awaited opening of the UK’s first The Social Hub – a four-star hybrid hospitality location combining hotel, student & extended stay accommodation, co-working space and leisure facilities.

The 3.6-acre Candleriggs Square site – bound by Wilson Street, Hutcheson Street, Candleriggs and Trongate – is regarded by many as the last and most important piece of Glasgow’s Merchant City regeneration jigsaw. Originally home to Glasgow’s flourishing fruit and vegetable market for most of the 20th century the square played host to a department store before remaining unoccupied and derelict for more than two decades, following the closure of the last operator there in 1999. The regeneration of the area is now starting to quickly take shape, with the next building to complete on site – the 346-apartment build-to-rent scheme delivered on behalf of Legal & General – forecast for practical completion this summer.

Graeme Bone, Group Managing Director of Drum Property Group, welcomed the completion of The Social Hub Glasgow as heralding an exciting future for Candleriggs Square. “The development vision we outlined when we first took ownership of the site in 2019 is now starting to come to fruition,” he said. “Despite many construction and delivery challenges, we are now seeing this vital part of the city centre, which had lain dormant for more than 20 years, beginning to take shape. It’s great to see these spectacular buildings coming out of the ground, bringing people, investment and excitement back into the heart of Glasgow city centre. The opening of The Social Hub Glasgow marks the return of Candleriggs Square to what it once was as part of the city’s rich commercial history – a bustling market-place full of life, vitality and interest, intrinsically linked to the rest of the city centre.”

Social Hub Candleriggs Square building:
Candleriggs Square Social Hub

He added: “We can now look forward to more high-quality housing, local amenities and open spaces combining with new pedestrian and access links creating a new sense of place, and making the whole Merchant City more accessible, welcoming and exciting for people living, working and visiting the area.”

The Social Hub Glasgow spans some 20,000 sq. metres is the result of a £90 million investment, and has space for up to 222 co-workers along with 20 private offices and eight flexible meeting and event spaces totalling 1,500sq metres. There are 494 rooms including dedicated four-star hotel rooms for leisure and business travellers, as well as those for students and extended-stay guests, making it Scotland’s largest hotel by room numbers.

The Social Hub concept is the brainchild of Edinburgh native Charlie MacGregor, who set up the first of what has grown into a portfolio of 23 hubs across Europe, in 2012 in Rotterdam – 18 of which are now open. Driven by its purpose of creating a better society, The Social Hub is now a pan-European investor, developer, owner and operator of a ‘hybrid’ hospitality model combining hotel accommodation, co-living and co-working spaces with restaurants, bars, conference rooms and fitness facilities, all coupled by pioneering community-centric experiences and social-impact focused programmes.

Glasgow City Council initially approved plans for The Social Hub Glasgow in May 2020, as well as granting approval for ‘Planning Application in Principle’ for the entire 3.6-acre site. Drum and Stamford’s proposals include a high-quality mixed-use scheme combining homes, offices, hotels, restaurants and local amenities together with landscaped open spaces and accessible walkways – with a new public square at the heart of the development. Plans for Candleriggs Square match Glasgow City Council’s stated desire to bring more people back into the city centre to live, work and visit.

Council Leader, Councillor Susan Aitken, attended the hotel’s groundbreaking ceremony in September 2021, and said at the time: “Glasgow needs a city centre that is an attractive place to live, work, study, visit and invest – and the regeneration of Candleriggs Square can play an important role in delivering on all of those aims. We can now look forward to further stages of the development bringing economic and social benefit to the Merchant City’s residents and businesses – and contributing to a wider renewal of the city centre.”

For more information on Candleriggs Square, visit

About The Social Hub

Driven by a purpose to create a better society, The Social Hub is a pioneer in the hybrid hospitality industry, offering spaces where guests from all walks of life can learn, stay, work and play. With hotels located across Europe’s most dynamic cities, The Social Hub connects and creates a unique community of travellers, students, business professionals, neighbours, and more. From hotel facilities, student and extended stay rooms, co-working spaces, through to auditoriums, gyms, event spaces and a comprehensive social impact programme, The Social Hub is a place where people can connect and learn from one another, build a community and engage in unique experiences that help spark ideas and make change happen.

Founded in 2012, The Social Hub is headquartered in Amsterdam and counts with more than 1,000 employees. The Social Hub’s total locations amount to 23, including 18 hotels and over 10,000 rooms currently operating in Amsterdam (two hubs), Barcelona, Berlin, Bologna, Delft, Eindhoven, Florence, Glasgow, Groningen, Maastricht, Madrid, Paris, Rotterdam, San Sebastián, The Hague, Toulouse, and Vienna. Five hubs are currently in development and opening in 2025 in Porto, Florence Belfiore and Rome, and further ahead in Lisbon and Turin. For more information:

More than just a hotel

The Social Hub (formerly The Student Hotel): a new concept in hybrid hospitality. Trendy design coupled with quality accommodations in 17 cities in Europe.

Previously on Glasgow Architecture:

31 May 2023

New High Point Reached for Candleriggs Square, Glasgow

‘Topping Out’ of 346 Apartment Build-to-Rent Complex Marks Next Step in £300 Million Merchant City Regeneration

Candleriggs Square Apartments Merchant City, Glasgow

Candleriggs Square Apartments Merchant City News

The £300 million transformation of Candleriggs Square in Glasgow’s Merchant City has reached another significant development milestone with the completion of structural work for a 346-apartment build-to-rent (BTR) complex, forward funded by Legal & General.

Candleriggs Development 2 Limited – the joint venture between Drum Property Group and Stamford Property Investments – first agreed a deal with Legal & General Investment Management Real Assetsin 2020 to bring the £81.5 million apartment complex to the 3.6-acre Candleriggs Square site, lying at the heart of the city’s popular Merchant City area.

Designed to meet the growing post-lockdown demand for affordable and high-quality city centre rental accommodation in vibrant city centre locations, the 325,000 sq. ft building will provide 346 apartments together with a range of retail and commercial units at ground floor level creating an attractive and accessible public realm. A generous entrance lobby will open onto Glasgow’s Trongate, giving direct access to a communal landscaped courtyard at the first-floor level, while a range of roof terraces will provide spectacular views across the city.

The ‘Topping Out’ of the building marks a new high point of the much-anticipated regeneration of the Candleriggs Square site. Also currently under construction is the 500-room hotel and leisure complex owned and operated by the pioneering hotel brand The Social Hub – formerly known as The Student Hotel Group – which is due for completion later this year. Senior representatives from Drum, Legal & General and building contractor Graham Construction gathered to mark the occasion with a traditional Topping Out ceremony, each recording their signatures on the last concrete pour on the highest part of the building.

Topping Out at Candleriggs Square Glasgow – Graeme Bone (left) and Dan Babberton (right):
Candleriggs Square Apartments Merchant City, Glasgow topping out

Graeme Bone, Managing Director of Drum Property Group, welcomed the building’s structural completion as marking an exciting future for the city centre. “Our significant progress at Candleriggs Square is fast becoming a highly visible symbol of the regeneration of Glasgow’s Merchant City and the city centre as it continues its post-lockdown recovery,” he said. “The L&G development is testament to the commitment and confidence we have placed in both the Candleriggs Square site and Glasgow city centre during very challenging times for our industry. It represents a significant step forward in the long-awaited regeneration of one Glasgow’s most prominent gap sites, driving forward the evolution of Candleriggs Square which has quickly established itself as one of Scotland’s largest and most important commercial and residential development sites. This will be a huge boost to the area and to local businesses and we can now look forward to bringing back to life a very special area which has always been at the centre of Glasgow’s commercial and social development.”

Dan Batterton, Head of Residential at Legal & General Investment Management Real Assets, added: “We are proud to be working again with Drum following our successful partnership on the Solasta Riverside scheme at Buchanan Wharf. Through our development at Candleriggs Square, we are providing renters with an opportunity to move into a well-designed, flexible living space at the heart of the city, as well as supporting the local council’s target of 2,500 new homes per year over the next decade.”

The Student Hotel at Candleriggs Square:
Candleriggs Square Apartments Glasgow

Drum and Stamford’s joint venture launched the ambitious £300m plan to transform Candleriggs Square when they first bought the site in March 2019. Plans include a high-quality mixed-use scheme combining homes, offices, hotels, restaurants and local amenities, together with landscaped open spaces and accessible walkways with a new public square at its heart. The L&G residential complex will sit at the heart of Merchant City, one of Glasgow’s most desirable neighbourhoods and will help meet tenant demand for city centre housing which is located next to large employers. The development aims to create the best possible experience for renters, providing high-speed digital connectivity, dedicated workspace and exercise facilities – all of which are essential in a post-covid world. For more information on Candleriggs Square, visit:

Previously on Glasgow Architecture:

10 September 2021

Ground-Breaking Event Marks Rise of 500-Room Hotel

Candleriggs Square Apartments Groundbreaking

groundbreaking at Candleriggs Square
photography : Julie Broadfoot

18 May 2021

Construction to Begin at Glasgow’s £300 Million Candleriggs Square

A CGI Showing The Student Hotel at Candleriggs Square:
The Student Hotel at Candleriggs Square Glasgow

About Candleriggs Square

Candleriggs Square, bound by Wilson Street, Hutcheson Street, Candleriggs and Trongate, is regarded by many as the last and most significant piece of the Merchant City regeneration jigsaw. Originally home to Glasgow’s flourishing fruit and vegetable market, for most of the 20th century it was used as a department store before remaining unoccupied and derelict since the closure of the last operator in 1999.

Since then, the site has suffered many false development dawns, including a proposal to establish Scotland’s first Selfridges there in 2007. Drum and Stamford’s joint venture inherited an existing planning consent, approved in 2016, for around 850,000 sq. ft. of residential, student, hotel and commercial space. The current approved planning application made significant improvements to the quality of design and site permeability which reflect the site’s unique setting at the heart of the Merchant City.

Candleriggs Square will form a mix of homes, hotels and commercial space clustered around landscaped areas and a central public square. Restaurants, cafes, bars and retailers will be included at ground-floor levels, augmented by a variety of pedestrian-friendly street-level courtyards and contemporary art installations – including an additional open public space at the intersection of Candleriggs, Wilson and Bell Street.

About Drum Property Group

Drum Property Group Ltd is an award-winning property development and investment business with a strong track record of growth throughout Glasgow, Scotland and the UK.

About Stamford Property Investments

Stamford Property Holdings and its subsidiaries are a multi-faceted property developer specialising in private residential, PRS and student accommodation. Stamford has a strong track record of institutional grade developments in major cities in the UK.

Legal & General Investment Management Real Assets (LGIMRA)

LGIMRA is a division of Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), one of Europe’s largest institutional asset managers and a major global investor. LGIM manages £1.2 trillion in assets*, working with a range of global clients, including pension schemes, sovereign wealth funds, fund distributors and retail investors. LGIM Real Assets has assets under management of £34.4 billion* and is one of the largest private markets investment managers in the UK. Investing in both debt and equity and across the risk/return spectrum, LGIM Real Assets actively invests in and manages assets across commercial, operational and residential property sectors, as well as infrastructure, real estate, corporate and alternative debt.

Taking a long-term view to future proof our investments, LGIM Real Assets continues to lead the industry in ESG performance, considering all environmental, social and governance issues at asset level as well as portfolio level. In 2021, we are implementing a strategy as part of our commitment to net zero carbon emissions across the real estate equity business by 2050 and have also committed to measuring social value across 20% of our platform by the end of the year.
* at 31 December 2022

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