Startups in Scotland’s advanced manufacturing sector will be able to locate in a multimillion-pound ‘innovation district’ in Renfrewshire thanks to a new government-backed scheme.

A development partner has been named for an ambitious construction project based around Glasgow Airport at Netherton, Inchinnan and Westway.

Renfrewshire council is leading the development plan for the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland (AMIDS).

It promises to bring thousands of high skilled jobs by attracting UK and international advanced manufacturing companies to locate there.

The council has confirmed it is forming a Development Partnership LLP with Tarras Park Properties Ltd, part of Buccleuch Property, to secure investment into AMIDS.

This follows technical support from Avison Young to the council to secure the development partner and will see Buccleuch fund a 3,400-square metre facility for start-ups and SMEs as part of up to £7.6m towards the initial development phases.

AMIDS centres on a 52-hectare Council-owned site Netherton being transformed into a modern, sustainable, employee-focused centre for manufacturing companies to locate to, where they can access advanced manufacturing technology and collaborate with specialists.

It’s home to the new University of Strathclyde-operated National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) flagship facility and the state-of-the-art CPI Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre.

Glasgow City Region City Deal funding delivered the underpinning infrastructure which is now complete and the council has also added a central square and Scotland’s first, fifth-generation renewable energy heating network to supply low carbon heating.

Renfrewshire council leader Iain Nicolson said: “AMIDS is already delivering on its aims to attract jobs and growth into Renfrewshire and make Scotland’s manufacturing sector a leading player on the global stage.

“Manufacturing innovation is in Renfrewshire’s DNA. From textile production of the famous Paisley Pattern to spitfire engines and steam boilers, so much capability and technology came from Renfrewshire and was exported worldwide.

“Today companies here remain right at the forefront of cutting-edge manufacturing, and AMIDS is home to renowned international manufacturers Rolls Royce, Boeing and Doosan Babcock and major life science and biotech science firms Thermo Fisher Scientific, Terumo Aortic and Peak Scientific.

“Some 8,000 people work in manufacturing roles in Renfrewshire, contributing more than £770million into the economy and this new partnership will enable us to take the district to the next level and achieve long-term growth, providing a major boost to the local, regional and Scottish economy, while supporting manufacturers to innovate and transition to net zero.” 

Edinburgh-based development partners Buccleuch have a UK-wide investment portfolio and have helped deliver a range of business park, bespoke building and commercial regeneration developments including Shawfair Park in Midlothian and Aberdeen Energy and Innovation Parks.

Sandy Smith, development director, Buccleuch Property, said: “AMIDS is a fantastic opportunity for Buccleuch and we are delighted to be appointed as partner to the LLP. The attraction of a high-profile site that is home to two pioneering anchor institutions and sitting alongside Renfrewshire Council and its academic partners, is obvious, and allows us to capitalise on our extensive expertise in the knowledge sector.

“We believe AMIDS is a great place to expand Scotland’s advanced manufacturing sector. Netherton is master-planned to accommodate businesses of all sizes and Buccleuch’s first action, working collaboratively with Renfrewshire Council and other stakeholders, is to deliver start-up and scale-up research and manufacturing space to meet demand from Scotland’s entrepreneurs and we will start work on these proposals immediately.

“In parallel, we have the opportunity to deliver bespoke property solutions to businesses seeking to join Renfrewshire Council’s and Buccleuch’s vision for AMIDS.”

Aerospace giants Boeing are also in the district at Westway in their first foray on Scottish soil as they research metallics manufacturing with NMIS experts, and there’s also NMIS’ group facilities the Lightweight Manufacturing Centre at Westway and the Advanced Forming Research Centre at Inchinnan.