Rent free business space in Dragons Den event

Glasgow’s Crowne Plaza hotel is holding a Dragons Den style competition to choose a budding entrepreneur – and set them up in business for free.

The famed Glasgow hotel is celebrating 30 years since it was first constructed by offering one Glasgow individual the chance to set up a brand new business in its foyer.

The Clydeside hotel was erected in September 1989 and wants to give something back to the community that has supported it throughout the years.

As well as marking the occasion with a big party next month, management wanted to make a more long lasting commitment to one hardworking Scot.

Manager Jason Dombrower, who took over running the hotel ten months ago, said the new business will take pride of place beside the hotel’s reception desk in the former gift shop.

And he’s looking for budding entrepreneurs to come up with an interesting idea for the space measuring 7.25m x 4m in exchange for the chance to make it a reality, rent free for 12 months.
Jason, 48, who is originally from Canada, explained: ‘It’s important to celebrate our 30th birthday and reflect the creative thinking we have at the hotel. Since I came here 10 months ago we’ve put an emphasis on service and teamwork to ensure our customer comes first.

‘We have a small shop which left us at the end of August and we want to give away the space and utilities to a fledgling entrepreneur who may have an idea for a business and may not yet be able to pay rent.

‘In the States in the 1920s, I read that landlords used to give space away to help support the local community.

‘We’re looking for ideas of what people would like to do with the shop and we will select the winner through a Dragons Den style scenario at the end of next month.

‘Maybe someone wants to run a cool barber shop or sell glorious Glasgow cupcakes or some other trendy or funky shop idea. Our overall goal is to take care of guests and team members and help a new entrepreneur to build a business for success.

‘If the individual then wants to stay on after 12 months we can make an arrangement from that point.’

The shop space will be a blank canvas and Jason and his staff only require potential operators to submit a helicopter view of the business idea and what it might look like.

The new business will be selected by a panel after September with a view to opening at the start of January.

Jason said: ‘Turning thirty is a real milestone for the hotel and the building has witnessed a huge amount of events and moments over the years. We have hosted everyone from royalty and rockstars to regular customers who appreciate our special atmosphere and accommodation.

‘The hotel changed physically since it was built as The Forum following the Glasgow Garden Festival and also since it was run as The Moat House. We have recently refurbished some rooms as well as our leisure facilities and are constantly upgrading with plans to update our ballroom in 2020. Work is ongoing.

‘Our location means we are a centrepiece of the Glasgow music scene and a hub of activity by Finnieston and the Clydeside. Our anniversary plans will also include a special 80’s theme party to thank some of the people who have helped us over the years.’

Submissions of business ideas should be sent to by September 21.