Glasgow business site to rival Edinburgh

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The Independent Online

Glasgow is to challenge Edinburgh for supremacy as Scotland's financial centre, under plans to be unveiled next month by the Government to develop a new £250m business district in the city.

Glasgow is to challenge Edinburgh for supremacy as Scotland's financial centre, under plans to be unveiled next month by the Government to develop a new £250m business district in the city.

The scheme hopes to create thousands of jobs as financial services companies relocate to the new development. The development would mark a further stage in Glasgow's campaign to reinvent itself with a new more sophisticated image, which was kick-started by it winning European City of Culture status in the 1990s.

Henry McLeish, Scotland's First Minister, will officially unveil the plan, which is thought to involve both public and private-sector funding, at a high-profile launch on 13 August.

British Telecom is backing the scheme, by pledging a cutting-edge communications infrastructure. Scottish Financial Enterprise, a government agency, and Ryden, a property agent, are also behind the plan.

The business district will be built close to the city centre in the Broomielaw area. A source close to the scheme said: "We are not talking call centre jobs here. It's high-end corporate headquarters we're after."

A PricewaterhouseCoopers report last year, commissioned by Locate in Scotland, the inward investment agency, identified 130 live financial services ventures currently seeking a location around the globe. The report highlighted the success of financial districts elsewhere, such as the Dublin International Financial Services centre.

The scheme's backers believe its success could outstrip that of Edinburgh's Exchange financial district.

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