Scottish Government backs £9m investment in national manufacturing centre


Renfrew manufacturing investment support “critical to Scotland’s economic success”

INVESTMENT IN A SPECIALIST manufacturing centre in Renfrew will help set Scotland’s economy on the right track, according to the Scottish Government, academics, and business groups supporting the plan. 

£9m in funds will support the Lightweight Manufacturing Centre – based in the former Doosan Babcock facility in Westway, Renfrew – to focus on lightweight manufacturing work. 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, speaking to business leaders while announcing the government support, said the scheme will bring benefits in the design and production of lightweight materials like titanium and carbon fibre, with applications across the aerospace, automotive, oil and gas and renewables industries.

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Sturgeon said: “A vibrant and innovative manufacturing base is critical to Scotland’s economic success and to creating skilled employment opportunities for the future.

“The Lightweight Manufacturing Centre will help Scottish businesses take advantage of the fact that sectors such as aerospace and the automotive industry are making more and more use of lightweight materials. It will deliver cutting edge research and development projects with and for companies in Scotland.

“Scotland enjoys resources few nations can match, including one of the most highly-educated workforces in Europe, a long-standing reputation for excellence in innovation and engineering and an internationally-regarded brand.”

The centre will be led by the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) in Inchinnan.

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Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal of the University of Strathclyde, added: “Scotland has a track-record of world-class research and innovation, and is committed to setting new standards in manufacturing and design. At Strathclyde, we are delighted to have used our leading manufacturing capability to drive the development of this new centre with the Scottish Government. The centre is a crucial step towards transforming Scotland’s manufacturing industry, creating new opportunities and sustainable, high-value jobs.”

Since the financial crash of 2009, economists have argued that there is an urgent need to rebalance the Scottish and UK economies in favour of extra manufacturing production.
Andrew Colquhoun, CEO of Doosan Babcock, said: “Doosan Babcock welcomes the Scottish Government’s initiative to bring high-quality manufacturing jobs to Scotland.  The investment to expand the capabilities of the AFRC with this new Lightweight Manufacturing Centre will help transform the manufacturing industry, keeping Scotland at the forefront of innovation and engineering excellence.”

Picture courtesy of First Minister of Scotland

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