A new manufacturing district in Renfrewshire which will create thousands of new jobs for the sector took a step closer today as work started on site.
The Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland (AMIDS) will be based next to Glasgow Airport and is expected to put Renfrewshire at the heart of Scotland’s manufacturing industry, estimated to create up to 6,000 jobs and boost Scotland’s manufacturing sector by £535million in GVA a year.
Renfrewshire Council is leading the district’s development in partnership with Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise.
A 52-hectare campus at the heart of the district will house companies harnessing new technologies and accessing cutting edge research. With 1.6million square feet of available floor space, the site is already confirmed as the location for the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland and the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre.
Work has now started on constructing the enabling infrastructure, which includes new roads, bridges, cycling routes and pedestrian walkways, funded through the £1.13 billion Glasgow City Region City Deal, jointly funded by the UK and Scottish governments.
Derek Mackay, Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work joined Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron, Scottish Enterprise Chief Executive Steve Dunlop and local Inchinnan Primary School pupils at the official groundbreaking.
Photo: Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work Derek Mackay; Scottish Enterprise Chief Executive Steve Dunlop and Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron joined by Inchinnan Primary School pupils Maya Jones and Scott Miller
Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work, Derek Mackay said: “I am delighted to celebrate work starting on the new Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland (AMIDS).
“Building on our rich and diverse manufacturing heritage, this development will help Scotland develop the clean, green, technologically-advanced industries of the future. The first tenants of this new district will be the Scottish Government’s £65 million National Manufacturing Institute Scotland and the £56 million Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre which will both provide an attractive proposition for further inward investment.
“Manufacturing is vitally important to the Scottish economy and AMIDS, and the companies it will attract, will help realise our ambitions for Scotland to become a global leader in advanced manufacturing.”
UK Government Minister for Scotland Colin Clark said: “I want to see the Glasgow City Region thrive as a powerhouse of economic growth. It’s vital that we invest in the skills, industries and infrastructure that will help businesses create high-paying jobs for the future.
“The UK Government is contributing £32 million to unlock the region’s potential through the Glasgow Airport Investment Area and Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre. Across Scotland our £1.4 billion City and Growth Deals programme is helping to create opportunities and sustainable growth for generations to come.”
Renfrewshire pupils were also on hand to plant a tailor-made time capsule packed full of local manufacturing mementos together with the children’s ‘dream inventions’ – covering everything from glasses that can see emotions to a self-navigating bike.
Photo: Primary School pupils Maya Jones and Scott Miller
The ground breaking also included a reception and tour of family-owned Inchinnan company Peak Scientific, who design and manufacture the world’s leading gas generators, used for laboratory analytics across a wide range of sectors including cancer research and screening newborns.
They have embraced manufacturing innovation to grow the business, now employing more than 450 employees worldwide, with major operations in North America, China and India and exporting to more than 110 countries.
Provost Cameron said: “Renfrewshire has a rich manufacturing heritage and right now 9000 people work in manufacturing roles across the region, generating more than £1billion in exports.
“The Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland will provide fantastic employment opportunities and support companies of all shapes and sizes to prosper. Its success will be built on close collaboration and cooperation.
“We know that from great connectivity to a highly-skilled workforce, we have the right ingredients in Renfrewshire to deliver on its amazing potential and place Renfrewshire at the beating heart of Scottish manufacturing. I am personally very proud that new products for a new world will be made in Renfrewshire.”
Scottish Enterprise has committed £2.47million grant funding towards the project and is also providing its expertise to help shape the district masterplan, creating a high-quality environment that fosters collaboration, supports sustainability and promotes health and wellbeing, with places for work, leisure and socialising.
Scottish Enterprise Chief Executive Steve Dunlop said: “This site represents one of the most exciting and important developments for Scotland’s manufacturing community in a generation. Once completed, it will significantly enhance Scotland’s excellent worldwide reputation for attracting inward investors.
“Working collaboratively with our partners, we can help build more resilient and agile manufacturing businesses, offering high quality jobs for local people that will positively impact their communities, Renfrewshire and all of Scotland.”
The enabling infrastructure is scheduled for completion in early 2021 and will also strengthen connections to nearby Westway Park, Scotland’s largest fully enclosed industrial distribution and office park, and to Inchinnan Business Park, home to more than 30 businesses including Rolls Royce PLC, Peak Scientific and the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre.
Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, University of Strathclyde, which is the anchor university of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland and research partner in the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre, said: “The University of Strathclyde is proud and excited to play a key role in the development of Scotland’s burgeoning manufacturing industry.
“The Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland will play a hugely important role in attracting investment in research and development in the manufacturing sector and in developing and sustaining the skills required by industry. This is a pan-Scotland activity and we are enthusiastically involving universities from across the country to bring engineering and technology expertise to bear in achieving the enormous potential of AMIDS.”
Dave Tudor, Managing Director, Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre, said: “We are delighted to be part of AMIDS. The Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre promises to enhance Scotland’s reputation as a trusted centre for high value manufacturing while transforming the UK’s standing with the global pharmaceutical industry. Being at the heart of what promises to be a hub for advanced manufacturing and leading innovation is what makes AMIDS the location of choice for the centre.”