Transport links between Scotland’s Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMIDS), Paisley town centre and Glasgow Airport are set to improve following a £40 million investment.
Renfrewshire Council’s AMIDS South project will better connect the University-operated National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) with communities and businesses and will include a 1.7km ‘gateway route’ along the White Cart river.
The project has received £38.7million from the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund – the third highest award of all the projects being supported in the first round. The funding was confirmed by the Chancellor in Wednesday’s budget (27 October).
The investment will provide around 90% of the funding to develop a network of road, cycling and walking links from the town centre train station and bus interchange to Glasgow Airport, AMIDS and onto Inchinnan.
Keith Ridgway, Executive Chair of NMIS and Professor of Practice at the University of Strathclyde, said: “We warmly welcome the investment in new transport infrastructure for Renfrewshire – funding which will have a tremendous impact on the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland, businesses and the local community.
“Our new NMIS facility at the heart of the District is set to open next year, and we are already bringing together industry, academia and the public sector to develop pioneering manufacturing research to help make companies more competitive, boost skills, and develop the highly-skilled professionals needed by industry.
The investment in new transport links underlines the importance of the District as a fast-growing and internationally-leading hub for manufacturing and innovation, and it will open up new opportunities for companies and organisations looking to locate to the area.
Construction of the world-class NMIS facility is well underway, and includes a Manufacturing Skills Academy, a Digital Factory and a Collaboration Hub. It is being built with sustainability to the fore and will be an energy carbon-neutral development.
The Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre (MMIC), of which Strathclyde is a founding partner, is also under development within the Innovation District.
Economic projections found the transport project could bolster the local economy by an additional £136million and cut carbon emissions by 21,700 tonnes while help existing and new companies to grow, creating new job opportunities for years to come.
The gateway route from Paisley town centre along Abercorn Street, Harbour Road and Inchinnan Road to Glasgow Airport and the manufacturing district AMIDS includes new cycle routes and landscaping as well as a bridge crossing at Paisley Harbour for pedestrians, cyclists and road traffic.
Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “Development of Scotland’s manufacturing innovation district AMIDS is a huge coup for Renfrewshire, attracting many new jobs and opportunities and it’s vital that we ensure the infrastructure is in place which enables residents in the surrounding areas to be able to access these jobs.
“This project does just that, better connecting communities to education and employment, enabling economic growth, helping to cut congestion and supporting our commitment for Renfrewshire to be carbon neutral by 2030.”