By Iain Nicolson, Leader, Renfrewshire Council

RENFREWSHIRE has a rich heritage in manufacturing innovation and the announcement to locate the world-first Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre here is the next step in our ambition to be the beating heart of Scotland’s manufacturing sector.

The £56million industry-led centre aims to revolutionise medicine manufacturing and capitalise on a market worth £98billion globally by providing pharmaceutical companies with a unique service to develop manufacturing techniques which speed up bringing new drugs to market.

This is fantastic news for Renfrewshire and for Scotland, generating new highly skilled jobs and encouraging companies of all shapes and sizes to grow, tapping into the transformative technologies the centre develops.

It is the latest in a series of major manufacturing facilities to be built in an advanced manufacturing innovation district being developed next to Glasgow Airport.

The medicines centre will be co-located with the £65million National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland, a collaborative project funded by the Scottish Government and University of Strathclyde.

It will be at the heart of future manufacturing activity in Scotland, creating jobs nationwide, growing the economy by making it easier for Scottish businesses to use new technology to grow and compete while galvanising investment from within Scotland and internationally.

Through its manufacturing skills academy, it will also equip people with the skills to lead and prosper in an evolving manufacturing environment, inspiring and attracting a new generation of talent.

The area is already home to the University of Strathclyde's world-renowned Advanced Forming Research Centre and opening soon is the Lightweight Manufacturing Centre, Scotland’s only facility for research and development of lightweight components.

We are attracting these major developments as we provide the perfect location, are at the centre of Scotland’s largest labour catchment, with excellent connections, world-leading university research and renowned manufacturers like Thermo Fisher Scientific, Rolls Royce, Diageo and Scottish Leather Group already established here.

The benefits of this emerging district will be felt at local, regional and national level and embed advanced manufacturing practice across Scotland.

We are engaging with public and private sector partners to develop the district and deliver the underpinning infrastructure through Glasgow City Region City Deal funding to create the conditions which ensure many more investors are attracted to the area.

Alongside the connecting roads, bridges, pedestrian walkways and cycle routes, partnership working with our neighbouring city region authorities has supported 8000 young people across the city region into jobs, including 745 in Renfrewshire.

We have just announced our long-term commitment to help people most in need into work. Our five-year economic development funding will support the people and places most in need, making the greatest difference. Economic growth must benefit everyone and we are targeting resources to communities facing deprivation and to help people unemployed and underemployed, changing their opportunities and that of future generations.

We will tackle the challenges head-on and develop Renfrewshire as an attractive place to locate, supporting businesses to grow and improving the area's economic, social and physical regeneration.

Innovation is in Renfrewshire’s DNA and manufacturing will be pivotal to our future economic success.

The place that produced the Hillman Imp motor car, wove the Paisley Pattern shawl and revolutionised modern banking through the invention of pin technology is fully focused on manufacturing a bright future for Renfrewshire and Scotland.