Renfrewshire Council is set to seal a wide-ranging strategic partnership with West College Scotland (WCS) aimed at boosting learning, jobs and innovation.

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The two organisations already cooperate extensively through the local community planning programme which brings together a number of public, private and third sector organisations.

Renfrewshire Council’s Leadership Board has backed proposals that the council and the college build on that joint working through the setting up of a strategic partnership.

A similar strategic partnership agreement was concluded earlier this year between the council and the University of West of Scotland (UWS).

Council and college representatives have identified four key themes where they believe they can deliver ambitious priorities which will improve the wellbeing and life chances of the college’s students and the wider Renfrewshire community.

The four main strategic themes relate to place, economy and jobs, learning, and expertise and innovation.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said:  “These are a lot of positive changes happening in Renfrewshire and we want to continue deliver on that progress.

“There are exciting possibilities arising from Renfrewshire’s role at the heart of the £1.13billion Glasgow City Region City Deal. “Renfrewshire is driving forward new approaches to town centre regeneration, attracting jobs and investment, and giving people and communities increased opportunities.

“And Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 is showcasing the continuing relevance of our unique cultural and architectural heritage as a driver of economic growth for the future.

“West College Scotland is playing a key role in the partnership effort that is committed to delivering that progress – particularly in areas such as digital skills, raising attainment and boosting innovation.

“We see an opportunity to deliver even more through a new partnership with WCS.

“In this very difficult funding era for all public bodies, we all need to be imaginative and focus our resources on high priority areas of common interest where joint working will deliver public value.

“The themes we have prioritised focus on the opportunities we want to give our community throughout their lives, in education and employment, in providing an attractive location for investment and innovation, and in enhancing the distinctive appeal of Renfrewshire at home and abroad.”

West College Scotland Principal Audrey Cumberford, said:  “This is an exciting development for the people of Renfrewshire and for West College Scotland.  As a College, we offer our communities the skills, training and qualifications to boost job opportunities, as well as local economic growth.  We are already deeply committed to many local regeneration and educational projects and this Strategic Partnership underlines that commitment.”