Nicola Sturgeon hails manufacturing development centre

A multimillion-pound centre for developing new manufacturing processes to be used in sectors including aerospace and the car industry is to be set up near Glasgow.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon looks at a 3D simulator during a visit to the Advanced Forming Research Centre in Renfrewshire. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

The specialist facility will focus on the use of lightweight materials such as titanium and carbon fibre, which are increasingly being used across a number of industries to improve efficiency and performance and help reduce carbon emissions.

The £8.9 million centre is the first step towards creating a National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the unit will support highly-skilled jobs and help put the country at the forefront of lightweight manufacturing.

It will occupy the former Doosan Babcock facility in Westway, Renfrew, and will be run by the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) in Inchinnan, Renfrewshire.

Speaking to an audience of 75 businesses at the AFRC, 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.”

Funding for the centre includes £3.9m from the Scottish Government, £3.4m from Scottish Enterprise and £1.6m from the AFRC.

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, principal of the University of Strathclyde, said: “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.”