£65 million manufacturing institute to be based in Renfrewshire

Keith Brown

RENFREWSHIRE will be the location for a new £65 million ‘Factory for the Future’, it has been revealed.

Work to build the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland (NMIS) will begin next year, with Strathclyde University confirmed as the anchor university.

The centre, based at Inchinnan, will help manufacturing firms throughout Scotland. The Scottish Government will invest £48 million in the site, with £8 million coming from the University of Strathclyde. This adds to the £8.9 million announced in June for the Lightweight Manufacturing Centre as a first step towards the wider centre. Renfrewshire Council will provide a further £39.1 million through the Glasgow City Region Deal to support wider infrastructure work.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Economy Secretary Keith Brown made the announcement during a visit to Rolls-Royce’s manufacturing facility in Inchinnan. The First Minister said, “This exciting facility will be an industry-led international centre of manufacturing expertise. Research, industry and the public sector will work together to transform skills, productivity and innovation, attracting investment and making Scotland a global leader in advanced manufacturing.

“It will help companies right across Scotland embrace new manufacturing techniques, support cutting edge research and help to further develop the skills of our workforce. The manufacturing jobs of the future offer exciting and rewarding careers for young people. We want to inspire them to work in this sector and revive Scotland’s proud tradition of manufacturing and engineering.

“Inchinnan provides a gateway to the world through proximity to the airport and revives Scotland’s proud tradition of manufacturing and engineering. Although the centre will sit on the Clydeside, the benefits will be felt throughout Scotland.

Economy Secretary Keith Brown added, “Manufacturing is a key industry, already accounting for 52 % of Scotland’s international exports, and nearly £600 million of Scotland’s spend on business research and development.

“Our investment in NMIS builds on our support for the Lightweight Manufacturing Centre and will support that and our ambitious target of doubling business expenditure on research and development by 2025. This centre will not only see us continue to reach out worldwide, but also see the rest of the world turning to Scotland for innovation and expertise.”

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Strathclyde said, “Today’s announcement marks the beginning of a new chapter for Scottish manufacturing, building on a great tradition of innovation. By capitalising on world-class, industry-relevant research and supporting skills-development, the new institute will attract inward investment to Scotland, stimulate the creation of jobs and help companies compete globally.”

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson commented, “I believe through our existing manufacturing expertise combined with excellent transport connections by air, land and sea – which will be further enhanced by our Glasgow City Region City Deal projects – Renfrewshire offers the perfect environment for the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland to flourish and we look forward to working with colleagues to deliver its ambitious aims.”