The International Financial Services District (IFSD) is a ten-year public-private project in Glasgow, Scotland. Based at Scottish Enterprise, the £1 billion venture aims to create an attractive inward investment location for leading international financial services companies and a re-location option for existing Glasgow-based companies, seeking to expand their operations.
Prior to the launch of the IFSD in 2001, the long-term decline of the old Port of Glasgow and its associated wharves and warehousing had resulted in a neglected infrastructure in Glasgow’s city centre area fronting the River Clyde, otherwise known as the Broomielaw. The result was a small number of isolated modern offices, standing adjacent to derelict land and vacant dilapidated buildings, loosely connected to Glasgow's traditional core business district centred on Blythswood Square at the western end of the city centre.
Planning led by Scottish Enterprise and Glasgow City Council, aimed to create a new, dynamic focus for the area’s regeneration, through the establishment of the IFSD. This was an important development of Glasgow’s financial services sector, which, with 28,000 employees, was recognised as vital to the city’s economic fortunes. In order to develop a fully serviced financial services district and exploit its long term potential, significant investment was required to create the right environment.
No official boundary of the IFSD exists; notionally the term refers to the approximately 1 square kilometer area of the city centre bounded by the M8 motorway to the west, the River Clyde the south, Hope Street to the east, and Sauchiehall Street to the north - taking in most of Blythswood Hill, the south eastern fringe of Anderston and part of Charing Cross. This has given rise to the area's nicknames in the popular press the Square Kilometre (in reference to the "square mile" of the City of London), and more the popular and widely used Wall Street On Clyde.
Since the start of the project, over 15,000 jobs have been created in the area, with several of the world's leading financial companies having a presence in the district.
A constant stream of new buildings has appeared in the IFSD since 2001, with more in the pipeline. The Aurora building in the IFSD for example has won several UK wide awards as large scale speculative office building.
The IFSD is connected by five National Rail stations, with routes that reach regionally and nationally.Anderston Station
Argyle Street Station
Glasgow Central Station
Glasgow Queen Street Station
Exhibition Centre Station
The IFSD is well connected with two Glasgow Subway stations. The Glasgow Subway the world's third oldest underground metro railway in the world. The two stations that cover the IFSD are:Buchanan Street Subway
St Enoch Subway
The IFSD has links to the nearby M8 Motorway, which runs through Central Glasgow. The motorway connects the city with Edinburgh, Livingston, Glasgow, Glasgow Airport, Paisley, Erskine Bridge and Greenock.