PLANS have been revealed to transform a "decaying" historic building in Finnieston in Glasgow into a "Nashville-inspired" world-class entertainment hub and events venue.

Forrest Group, who own the award-winning Radisson Red hotel, have submitted plans to Glasgow City Council to overhaul the North Rotunda while carefully restoring and enhancing the historic features of the original structure such as the cast iron and glass cupola and original round open-plan floors.  

The group bought the building, located on Tunnel Street, in June last year and will invest £15 million to convert the building over three levels into The Roundhouse on the ground floor and The Rotunda on the upper floors, with the proposals expected to create 60 new jobs.

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The National: The Rotunda

Keith Vallance, from Forrest Hotels, will oversee the development.

He said: "Sadly the old building is in a sorry state, but we are prepared to invest heavily in order to restore this architectural gem, bringing a new generation through its doors.

"Our proposals will create 60 much-needed new jobs for the city.

"The North Rotunda is a beautiful old building with some lovely features, either covered up completely or worse, rotting away.

"We want to restore it and we have worked hard to come up with a design which enhances and showcases those features.

"We will retain the open plan round floors, allowing the unique design of the original building to take centre stage."

The National: Concept art from Forrest GroupConcept art from Forrest Group (Image: Supplied)

The plans come after the Glasgow Times reported in August last year that the previous occupiers of the building North Rotunda and Cranside Kitchen, which were operated by The Rotunda Group, had closed suddenly.

The North Rotunda had been used to host a range of events including weddings, civil partnerships and other celebrations following an extensive refurbishment completed in 2021.

With the new plans taking inspiration from Nashville’s world-famous live music circuit, the ground floor space has been designed with live performance in mind while the upper two floors have been designed to host weddings, conferences and events.

The Roundhouse will have a separate entrance and an external beer garden catering for more than 140 people and will be capable of hosting events for 250-500 people.

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The first floor, which will be part of The Rotunda, will be a lounge and pre-event space with an outside terrace and will retain the existing floor-to-ceiling windows.

The second floor will be a large open space with a capacity of up to 500 for larger events, or around 200 to 300 for seated, table service events such as conferences and weddings.

The plans reveal the versatile new venue would have state-of-the-art bespoke sounds and lighting systems and feature a new extension and external stairwell.

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Keith says company directors spent a week in Nashville in September last year to get inspiration for the new venue.

He said: "We started to think what doesn’t Glasgow really have and it coincided with a trip the directors were planning to go on to America.

"We thought let’s have a good look at the Nashville scene while we’re there and there’s a great vibe with Nashville.

"We thought we want to make this [the North Rotunda] a wee bit of a destination to showcase something specific in the building as well as an events and function area.

"[The trip inspired] stage placing and layout for the space and the combination of the bar/ restaurant with live music and general operational elements we saw there and how it all comes together in a very seamless operation."

He added: "We’re very enthusiastic about the project and looking forward to getting things started as soon as we can."

The National: Keith VallanceKeith Vallance (Image: Supplied)

The proposals have been met with enthusiasm from both the neighbouring SEC Campus and Glasgow Chamber of Commerce.

Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: "The North Rotunda is a prominent building that lends itself to being a standout destination in the city and we are pleased to see these carefully considered proposals come forward.

"The SEC Campus is just a stone's throw away and as we know, this wider area has enormous potential for further regeneration and economic activity.

"This, coupled with the creation of much-needed new jobs, is why we must welcome investments that will further enhance our reputation as a leading city for events, entertainment and culture."

Billy McFayden, director of finance and development at SEC, added: "We very much welcome the Forrest Group proposals to enhance the North Rotunda and provide a much-needed destination venue to the wider SEC Campus.

"The high-quality design creating flexible function and entertainment space will provide excellent facilities that will augment our world-class campus."

The Roundhouse and Rotunda are expected to launch in early 2026, subject to planning consents and statutory approvals.