ScottishPower office move a lettings record

AN OFFICE park in Hamilton has landed what is believed to be the biggest out-of-town office letting for nearly a decade.

Energy giant ScottishPower has taken an 80,000 sq ft office building on Hamilton International Park (HIP), which is owned by Bellshill-based HF Developments.

The new office will house 1,000 employees from the firm’s retail energy team.

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The deal will bring the number of ScottishPower employees based at the park to around 1,800. The firm also occupies two office buildings on HF’s other office park, Strathclyde, and maintains its headquarters in the Cathcart area of Glasgow.

It is understood ScottishPower is still looking for even larger premises in the centre of Glasgow in which to relocate its headquarters by 2014. Insiders said the company is thought to favour Scottish Enterprise’s International Financial Services District (IFSD) at Broomielaw Quay.

A spokesman for ScottishPower said: “As with any large organisation we have a constant property review, which looks at our existing portfolio of properties and assesses options that are available, and this process is ongoing.”

Confirmation of the letting and the countdown to the removal of tax breaks in April of next year has prompted HF to invest a further £50 million in the development of a 223,000 square ft “eco campus” at HIP. The new offices are set to be the first speculatively-built carbon neutral development in Scotland and will be completed by December.

A spokesman for HF said: “Our strategy two years ago was to target energy companies, whether that be renewables, oil and gas or otherwise as this was clearly the growth sector for Scotland. In addition to ScottishPower at Hamilton, we have attracted Wood Group to Strathclyde Business Park as well as [Spanish renewables firm] Gamesa.

“We think it [the ScottishPower deal] is the largest out-of-town letting in the West of Scotland in the last seven or eight years,” he added.

The deal trumps that of its office park rival, Maxim, which signed up the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) as a tenant, which requires 60,000 sq ft. It is thought Sepa had considered both Maxim and HIP as potential locations.

Maxim was saved from financial collapse earlier this year by the sale of Lloyds Banking Group debt in the venture to American private equity investor, Cerberus Capital Management.