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Completion of stunning refurbishment of Custom House


The final phase of the £4.1m remarkable and extensive transformation of 18,000 square feet of Custom House has been completed. This brings the popular landmark fully into productive employment use, creating jobs and ensuring that the Custom House has a new-found status as a vibrant link between Greenock's illustrious heritage and supporting its ambitious economic growth plans for the future.

The general public will be able to see for themselves the stunning refurbishment of the iconic Grade A listed building, built in 1818, later this year on Doors Open Day.

Riverside Inverclyde initially acquired interest in the Custom House in January 2011, shortly after HM Custom & Excise vacated the historically and culturally important building which was at that time in real danger of falling into a state of serious disrepair. Riverside Inverclyde's phased works that started in 2012 were supported by total contributions of £649,332 from the Scottish Government's Regeneration Capital Grants Fund. 

Riverside Inverclyde's Chair, Gerry McCarthy said: 

"Riverside Inverclyde's plans of rescuing this classic building and bringing it into economic use have proven to be visionary. Where once the future looked bleak for this grand building as it lay vacant, it is now populated by a combination of renowned global and local ambitious companies. Riverside Inverclyde has secured the future of this wonderful building, bringing prestigious office accommodation and jobs into the heart of Greenock town centre. Now that the final phase has been completed, we look forward to attracting growth companies to Inverclyde, such as PG Paper Company Ltd and Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions who are already established tenants in the building. Custom House is a superb example of the continuing regeneration of Inverclyde."

Riverside Inverclyde's Acting Chief Executive, Fiona Maguire said: 

"Upgrading the building has required a complex restoration programme including a sophisticated fire strategy, structural and acoustics requirements, and the need for strict compliance with the then Historic Scotland Grade A listed building conditions which all placed difficult demands on the design team. I would also like to thank the contractors Clark Contracts (who undertook the refurbishment of the West Wing and the Lower East wing) and WH Kirkwood (who undertook the final phase - the refurbishment of the Upper East Wing). The project was not without difficulties for all parties, but the results are testament to the quality that such an impressive building merits."

Key early stage works included a remodelled courtyard entrance and DDA compliant access to the ground and first floors.

Above - The final phase has transformed the Long Room offering up to 4,000 sq ft of modern floor space

The final phase which has transformed The Long Room, the Northern Vestibule Entrance and the Grand Staircase maintains the high standards of quality fittings throughout the previous phases of this transformation.

Custom House is the centrepiece in Riverside Inverclyde's property portfolio for attracting professional, aspirational growth companies to Inverclyde. The refurbished premises offer multi-occupancy office suites of various sizes, all to a high specification, from 289 sq ft to 4,000 sq ft. Being superbly located on the banks of the River Clyde overlooking the Argyll Hills to the north, and with the arterial A8 dual carriageway and Greenock Central railway station adjacent to the south side of the building, a finer location for thriving businesses would be difficult to find at an impressive quoting rent of £12.50 per sq ft (plus services, utilities and VAT).

Above - The Harbourmasters room retains many period features whilst offering a fantastic separate office space and view across the River Clyde

Martin Speirs of Cushman & Wakefield, letting agents for the Custom House, said:

"This is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful office spaces in the Inverclyde area, if not the west coast of Scotland - you really have to see it to appreciate the grandeur of space and the elegance of this historic building. Riverside Inverclyde, Elder & Cannon their architects and design team have done a fantastic job on the restoration while making sure the building is not just a showpiece but a comfortable office space with every modern convenience. The West Wing suite would make a great head office and we expect there to be a lot of interest both locally and from other parts of Scotland."

Andrew Bowman, Head of Business Investment for Riverside Inverclyde, said:

"Inverclyde offers opportunities for all types of businesses to flourish and it is an exciting time for the area. Whether a large global company looking for the ideal location, or an SME needing modern and cost effective premises, all can benefit from being in Inverclyde. With support on hand to help to recruit fantastic new talent, sourcing potential funding and grant support as well as connecting with businesses and a local network, ri is ideally placed to support and guide businesses on every step of their move into Inverclyde."

Above - The Northern Vestibule Entrance and the Grand Staircase maintains the high standards of quality fittings throughout the building

Community use has also been designed into the refurbishment, with the Greenock Burns Club having a facility at the Northern Entrance Vestibule for an exhibition of Robert Burns artefacts. Opening hours for the general public to visit the exhibition are on Saturday's from 12-2pm. Please note that this will be the only section of the building open to the general public apart from advertised Doors Open days. There will be other days when the exhibition is open and will be publicised via the Greenock Burns Club Website - http://greenockburnsclub.com/

Above - The fantastic Robert Burns interpretation room 

Companies wishing to arrange viewing of the most suitable premises for their business should contact Martin Speirs of Cushman and Wakefield on 0141 223 8792 or martin.speirs@cushwake.com. Alternatively contact Andrew Bowman on 07714 787 023 or andrewb@riversideinverclyde.com.

To download the Custom House Brochure please click here. 

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