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Invest Glasgow - Using Drone to Illustrate the Business Case for Glasgow

Updated: Oct 23

The people of Glasgow are a proud, forward-thinking and passionate. The arts have thrived in this city for decades and businesses of all kinds grow and flourish with the help of a supportive community. Glasgow does serious business, but at the same time, Glasgow doesn’t take itself too seriously. That’s why everyone feels so at home here.


When Invest Glasgow commissioned HawkAye to capture a series of drone photos and videos of Glasgow, this is the mind-set and culture we wanted to portray. The goal of this project was to illustrate the business case for Glasgow as a location for growth and investment. We were asked to capture city landmarks and the layout of the city centre to present Glasgow as a hub of business excellence.

Glasgow is packed full of fascinating architecture, from a Gothic university to glistening modern office blocks. The buildings alone display the multitude of talents held by Glaswegians - architecture, engineering, art and design, city planning. If captured in the right way, we knew we could leave viewers of the video wondering, how can I be a part of that? Drone images really grab people’s attention in a way that ground level photography can't.


The footage also shows that Glasgow has the perfect mix of a big population and plenty of space. We used the drone to capture the large green areas and water ways throughout the city. The aim of this was to show that there is lots of great business to be gained within the city, but it isn’t overcrowded. You won’t be fighting over space and consumers, there is plenty success to go around.


The videos and photographs were shot across 34 different locations and we supplied over 200GB of content. We covered areas from Cunnigar Loop in the East of the city to the new AMIDS (Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland) development at Glasgow Airport. We wanted to show Glasgow in full; it isn’t a city centre focused town surrounded by sleeping suburbs, there are business opportunities all over the city.

How was the Footage Used?


The primary focus of the project was to produce content for Invest Glasgow’s new website investglasgow.com - check out the video on their homepage. Photographs were also used across their website and on their social media channels to drive website traffic. COP26 sparked the interest of many around the world and the footage was used to showcase the city to potential investors. We are very proud to be part of a project which has the potential to really boost Glasgow’s economy.

Drone Project Logistics


HawkAye made sure that everything legal, safety and permissions related was fully covered, meaning our client didn’t have to worry about a thing. For each of the 34 sites, HawkAye conducted a full risk assessment and obtained any permissions required from landowners. This includes full checks of NOTAMS (Notification to Air Men) and this lets us know what is happening in the air - i.e. any cranes which will be in place, special training for services, restricted airspace etc. We also liaised with Police Scotland Aviation Safety Unit to let them know of our plans.

Two of the more challenging aspects of this project were the shots taken from the roof of Central Station and beside Glasgow Airport. The former involved an in-depth safety assessment to ensure that our staff and the public were safe at all times and there was no risk of interference with the rail network. The latter required the use of spotters to help on site and we spent time working with Air Traffic Control. At HawkAye, we have experience capturing footage in challenging locations so we know the measures required to ensure the safety of the project, other organisations and the public.

We had some restrictions on where we could film such as the restricted air space over NHS Louisa Jordan during the pandemic and restrictions on flying drones during COP26. However, the Police Scotland Aviation Safety unit were really helpful and took a very pragmatic approach to working with us so that we could complete our project.

Why We Loved this Project


It was exciting to see our hometown from a different perspective and we had the opportunity to explore areas we hadn’t seen before.


We were able to capture Glasgow at different times of day. The bustling city centre looks particularly captivating in the early evening or when the sun is setting or rising. Sending the drone up into those beautiful pink and yellow skies, watching the colours reflecting in tall glass windows and shimmering through industrial smoke, was invigorating. Our rivers and canals are mesmerising at this time in the evening too.


It was fascinating to see the circular patterns of the Park Circus buildings and the symmetry of the Glasgow Botanic Gardens. This really isn’t something you can understand until you see it from above. We also enjoyed our visit to the Cunningar Loop; a lovely park next to the Commonwealth Athletes Village in the East End.


This project left us in total awe of Glasgow’s architects and city planners. They have created the perfect place to live which is functional, has plenty of recreation space and allows for good dispersement of activity and business throughout the city.


What our client had to say;

“Invest Glasgow has been working with HawkAye since the start of 2021 to systematically capture high quality aerials of the Glasgow cityscape. This has been planned with an eye on business and inward investment and showcasing physical aspects of the city region that dont always enjoy the lions share of the limelight.

Ive always been impressed with the quality and detail of video and image content created, having noted the companys previous work on Instagram and now with access to the latest drone kit, more powerful zoom capability allows for a sharper lens on an ever-changing city skyline.

On top of an outstanding end product, Scott always goes the extra mile to deliver above and beyond the brief and is always a pleasure to deal with.

From the start, we have viewed HawkAye as more content partner than supplier and they remain in our plans for future content development.”

- Gavin Smyth, Invest Glasgow.


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