City of Glasgow College

City of Glasgow College

Now the largest further education college in Scotland, The City of Glasgow College was formed in 2012 through the amalgamation of four smaller colleges in the city centre and now has over 40,000 students enrolled each year on its courses. The College occupies two large and purpose-built campuses in the centre of Glasgow.

This £360million building project saw twin campuses built in the city centre and on the banks of the River Clyde. The new catering facilities work well and are trading well above the initial estimates, which outlined expected revenue of more than £1.3 million per annum.


In 2010, Litmus became involved at the start of the project to design and build twin campuses for the college in the city centre and on the banks of the River Clyde. Initially, Litmus examined the uptake and use of the catering facilities in the existing college buildings. From this, a catering strategy was prepared for the designs of the new buildings, proposing the style and general locations for a range of refectories, coffee shops and retail spaces, as well as facilities for expected meetings and conferences. This became part of the design specifications going forward to the Competitive Dialogue stages which lead to the final design and build contract awarded in 2013.

The buildings were procured through the Scottish Futures Trust and the Riverside Campus opened in 2015 and the much larger City Campus welcomed students in 2016.


Litmus was engaged in three stages, the first of which led to Litmus:

  • Assessing the volume of catering provided in the original four college buildings;
  • Negotiating with the design team on space allocation for catering in the new buildings at RIBA Stage C;
  • Producing an initial design for all the catering facilities across both campuses; and
  • Preparing detailed room data sheets for catering equipment.

Litmus’ second engagement included:

  • Assessing the suitability of the catering proposals for all designs within the competitive dialogue;
  • Scoring the catering designs in final bids;
  • Working with the college design team to ensure that the selected design and build contractor delivered to the required specifications; and
  • Advising the College on any catering design issues that evolved during the construction phase.

On the third engagement Litmus advised the College on the tendering of the new catering contract.


Neil Smith, the Litmus Partnership, said: “Initially we analysed all of the existing food outlets in the current College buildings to obtain a measure of the current usage.  We then entered negotiations with the architectural team over space allocations for catering and eventually agreed a suitable compromise.

“We then devised a catering strategy document for discussion and it was agreed that the two new College buildings would have a similar food offering and that the main City campus would have a number of its outlets located on different floors of the building, so that facilities could be accessed without a very long walk from the upper floors or the back of this very large building.

“On completion of RIBA Stage C, we specified the cooking equipment along with the fixtures and fittings for the various outlets and we continued to monitor these throughout the competitive dialogue design process.

“We then led on the tender, and helped the College find a suitable provider. Once a contractor had been appointed, we continued to work as the College’s catering consultants through to the final commissioning of this £360million building project.”


A new contractor was appointed, who took over prior to the commissioning of the City campus in August 2015. The new catering facilities work well and are trading well above Litmus’ initial estimates, which outlined expected revenue of more than £1.3 million per annum.

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“Throughout the entire process, we worked with the college to ensure that the design specifications for both the college catering and the curriculum training facilities for catering students complied with the specifications in terms of design and equipment.”

Neil Smith, the Litmus Partnership