Plans for a £65 million centre to boost productivity and innovation across Scotland’s manufacturing sector have today taken a major step forward.
A formal planning application has now been submitted for the development of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) to be built near Glasgow Airport.
The centre, first announced in 2017, will provide support for manufacturing firms throughout the country to improve their competitiveness and also aims to stimulate investment into the sector.
Strathclyde University will be the anchor university for the institute, which will be based at Inchinnan in Renfrewshire.
The facility will include a skills academy, a fully digitalised “factory of the future” and a collaboration hub for manufacturers to work together with research partners and the public sector to innovate.
NMIS also includes two specialist technology centres – the Lightweight Manufacturing Centre (LMC), which opened earlier this year, and the Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC), the only high value manufacturing “catapult” facility in Scotland.
The planning application for the new site, which will be energy carbon neutral, will now be considered by Renfrewshire Council.
Strathclyde’s principal, Professor Sir Jim McDonald, described its submission as “great news” and evidence that plans for the centre are progressing quickly.
“Scotland has a vibrant manufacturing sector which is well placed for further innovation and growth. To achieve its fullest potential, it needs advanced facilities, resources and equipment, for use by highly qualified and skilled staff; NMIS will offer all of this,” he said.
Economy secretary Derek Mackay said it was a major milestone. “Manufacturing is crucial to our economy and is a sector we want to see flourish in Scotland. Given the importance of responding to the global climate emergency, I am particularly pleased the facility will be energy carbon neutral and it is great that the facility will lead by example,” he said.
“NMIS will deliver benefits for businesses across Scotland well before the building is complete including through the existing capability available at the LMC which adds to the wider support available from our enterprise agencies to help companies improve their productivity.”
Glasgow-based HLM Architects is leading the NMIS design team, which also includes Waterman Civil & Structural Engineers, Davie + McCulloch Building Services Engineers and Robinson Low Francis Cost Managers.
The Scottish Government is investing £48m in the centre with Strathclyde University contributing the balance.
Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, the Scottish Funding Council and Renfrewshire Council are also involved.