Nicola Drummond interview - Glasgow Science Centre festival

Renfrewshire’s joint environmental campaign Team Up to Clean Up is set to be showcased at a digital science festival hosted for the first time by Glasgow Science Centre.

Curious About Our Planet takes place from 18 to 20 February and aims to celebrate the wonders of the planet and the science of climate change.

Nicola Drummond interview - Glasgow Science Centre festival

The line-up includes a behind-the-scenes tour of Edinburgh Zoo, a sustainable cocktail making session, a UK film premiere and an art exhibition.

Also included is an interview with Lead Officer for Environment Coordination at Renfrewshire Council, Nicola Drummond, who discusses the impact the Team Up to Clean Up campaign has had in Renfrewshire as the council and community work together to effect change.

Nicola said: “It’s fantastic to be part of this online festival and hopefully we can inspire others throughout the country, especially those in our younger generations, to think about how they treat their local environment.

Facebook - Curious About - Envirotent - Workshops and Activities

“The Team Up to Clean Up campaign has grown tremendously over the past few years as more and more people take a real pride in their community and want to do what they can to improve where they live.

“We support them with litter pickers, collecting rubbish from their litter picks and providing a network of like-minded volunteers through our Facebook group and it’s fantastic to be part of such an inspiring campaign.”

The festival is an online version of Curiosity Live, a regular science engagement event that has been held at Glasgow Science Centre (GSC) for the past few years.

Cllr Cathy McEwan

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “I’m delighted that our campaign is part of this exciting festival and I hope those who attend are inspired by the work going on in Renfrewshire.

“It’s incredible to see the dedication of our volunteers who are making a difference not only to their communities and the health of our local environment, but also inspiring others to join them and affect behaviour change in Renfrewshire.

“As a council, we will continue to do our bit with enhanced street cleaning and gully clearing to ensure that the commitment is there from us and the community, and I can’t wait to see where this campaign can take us in the future as we do what we can to tackle climate change.”

The festival is being delivered with support from the Inspiring Science Fund provided by Wellcome, UKRI and BEIS. It is also part of Our World Our Impact, Glasgow Science Centre’s climate change programme which is in partnership with the Scottish Government.

Dr Stephen Breslin, chief executive of Glasgow Science Centre, said: “We’re excited to be launching our first digital science festival following the success of GSCAtHome and our online Halloween and Christmas shows.

“Climate change will have an impact on everyone and Curious About Our Planet invites us to explore the science of it as well as reminding us of the beauty of our planet, all from the safety and comfort of home”.

Festival contributors include Heather Reid, WWF Scotland, Royal Zoological Society for Scotland (RZSS), Zero Waste Scotland, Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), National Environment Research Council (NERC), the Conservation Volunteers and Keep Scotland Beautiful.

To find out more about the full festival programme, visit https://curiousabout.glasgowsciencecentre.org/

Imogen Stirling

Poet, musician and theatre-maker, Imogen Stirling, collaborates with youth arts charity CREATE Paisley, to help the young people of Renfrewshire express themselves through poetry. 

 

The internationally renowned writer, whose portfolio of work has been featured on Sky Arts will be taking up the mantle of writer in residence for this year’s Paisley Book Festival which is going digital for the first time.

Imogen Stirling

As part of Imogen’s role she’s working with CREATE Paisley to champion the role of creativity in the lives of young people and offer a chance to work alongside her on their own poetry and writing. Imogen’s work has seen her travel the world with sold out performances at the Prague and Edinburgh fringe as well as appearances at both the Eden and latitude festivals but with her 2020 touring schedule being ground to a halt by Covid-19 she is looking forward to supporting young people express themselves as part of the project.

 

I’ve always had a passion for working with young people and the opportunity to work with CREATE Paisley as part of my tenure as Writer in Residence is really exciting. During these tough times it is so important for young people to be able to express themselves and I am super excited to do that with them through my passion for poetry. I believe that using words and poetry in a relaxed environment can really help us to express our thoughts and explore emotions in a safe and healthy way and I am so looking forward to these workshops and hope to see as many people there as possible’’

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/SFe1wAPikyc” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>

Imogen joins CREATE as part of their Teach Me Tuesday programme which will give young people the opportunity to take part in a series of free online creative writing workshops. Together, Imogen and the young people will use simple writing exercises, discussion, poetry readings and storytelling to explore how words can be used to express mindfulness and fun. With a view to looking forward to more hopeful times than 2020, the imagination will run wild with radical new futures and what we can learn from this tumultuous year. After having played around with various poetic techniques throughout the workshop, each participant will be encouraged to create their own short piece of writing which can be edited into a collective ballad and then presented during one of the Paisley Book Festival’s online events.

 

CREATE knows the importance of creativity in a young person’s life in terms of their mental health and academic attainment but also at this time, workshops like Imogen’s, play a much more important role. Brid Gallagher, Youth development worker at CREATE, has been working across the charities online programme since the start of lockdown and has seen first hand the effect that lockdown is having on young people’s lives: 

 

‘We work with so many young people who are struggling at the moment. The isolation and anxieties surrounding the pandemic are really having an effect on their well being and we have had many young people approach us who are struggling with depression and isolation. Workshops like Imogen’s give much needed structure and a chance to express their feelings in a safe and healthy way. We are so excited to be working with Imogen and  grateful for her giving our young people such a great opportunity to see their work being showcased at the Festival’s online events!’ 

 

The workshops are open to anyone aged between 12 and 21 and will start on Tuesday 26th of  January at 7pm. 

Open to all levels, with complete beginners very welcome!” To sign up visit www.createpaisley.org.uk/

Samaratans

STAFF at Braehead shopping centre will be turning Blue Monday into Brew Monday as a way of keeping in touch with one another during lockdown.

They are supporting the Samaritans’ Brew Monday event, on January 18 and have organised a virtual quiz on Zoom along with everyone having a cuppa.

Samaratans

The third Monday in January is traditionally known as Blue Monday – the saddest day of the year – and with many Braehead staff on furlough or working from home it was decided to do something to keep in touch with each other.

Lydia Brown, Braehead’s community development manager explains: “We usually have an event in the centre to bring a smile to everyone’s face on Blue Monday.

“But with this year being so different and the centre only open for essential shopping we decided to stage a Braehead Zoom quiz for staff. It’s a nice way to keep in touch with each other, have a quiz, a chat and a cuppa during these tough times.

“Because many of us are either on furlough or working from home, we don’t get to see and talk to each other as much as usual.

“It’s important that everyone reaches out to their colleagues and friends during lockdown.”

Braehead will stage two Brew Monday quiz sessions on Monday, with the centre’s operations manager, Paul Lucas acting as quizmaster.

The Samaritans launched Brew Monday to turn Blue Monday into something positive by encouraging people to get together over a warming cuppa. 

Go to www.samaritans.org for more information about Brew Monday and the charity, or if you want to chat to someone, call 116 123 for free.

Johnstone 8.12.20-6758

Landmark locations at the heart of Renfrew and Johnstone town centres are being lit up – as part of a collection of projects aimed at bringing new life to Renfrewshire’s town centres.

The projects have been delivered by Renfrewshire Council using the area’s share of the Scottish Government’s Town Centre Fund, intended to improve town centres across the country by encouraging new investment and uses for vacant buildings and spaces.

Johnstone 8.12.20-6758

Renfrewshire initially received £1.46m from the fund in 2019, for which a series of projects in Renfrew, Johnstone, Paisley and Erskine were put into action, with some now complete.

A further £527,000 was allocated earlier this year when the government added extra money to the fund to help town centres bounce back from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

bascule1

Projects which have already been delivered or are nearing completion include:

– new and improved lighting around Renfrew Town Hall and Johnstone’s Houstoun Square. The same fund also paid for new Christmas lights in Johnstone, with the additions to Renfrew Town Hall complementing recent investment in the town’s festive displays through the Renfrew Common Good Fund;

– new lighting added to Renfrew’s Bascule Bridge, with work to add new lighting, wayfinding and CCTV to Robertson Park now partly-complete and due to be finished in the spring;

– work to tidy up the gap site at the corner of Johnstone’s High St and McDowall St;

– refurbishments to vacant shop units at George Street, Paisley, and High Street and McDowall St in Johnstone, plus external improvements to vacant shop units at Renfrew’s Dunlop Crescent;

– a new storage area for commercial waste at 55 High St, Paisley;

Johnstone 8.12.20-6776

The fund is also being used to provide grants to three local community groups to support ongoing work to bring vacant buildings back into use. Each of the following projects is expected to be complete by the end of 2021:

– PACE Theatre’s plans to refurbish Paisley’s former Mannequins nightclub to create a new theatre, called Exchange;

– Active Communities ongoing work to bring the former police station in Johnstone’s Quarry Street back into use as a community hub;

– the conversion of the former toilet block in Renfrew’s Robertson Park into a cycle hub by Kustom Kruisers;

Bascule Bridge - Purple

The council’s leadership board this month also approved a list of additional projects for the second tranche of money to go on, which included:

– a grant to allow the Erskine Arts charity to set up a base within Erskine Leisure Centre;

– funding to extend the council’s Start-up Street hub for new creative businesses to Renfrew as a new use for the vacant units in Dunlop Crescent;

– outdoor improvements to Paisley’s Shuttle St to help support the hospitality businesses in the street, including new a canopy of lighting and a new bin store area

– additional funding for an already-planned refurbishment of upper-floor tenements at 3 County Place, Paisley – a prominent building facing Gilmour St station which has fallen into disrepair;

Robertson Park II December 2020

As the additional money needs to be committed by March 2021, the projects above were chosen as ones which had already been scoped out and could go on site in the next few months.

Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson said: “Ensuring our town centres are attractive places for people to live, work and invest is a big priority for the council.

“We are very mindful how hard the past year has been for town centres everywhere – we are determined to do all we can to support our traders and communities and this support from the Scottish Government is very welcome.

“We carefully considered which projects would be eligible for the funding and would have the most impact in terms of attracting new uses and investment across all our town centres.

Robertson Park December 2020

“The work has been happening since last year and we are delighted people are now starting to see the results of it – with the new lighting in Renfrew and Johnstone being the most eye-catching of the projects, and ones which have been well-received.

“And there will be plenty more for people to look forward to in 2021 as projects to bring vacant buildings back into use and improve the look of our outdoor spaces are completed.”

provost community awards

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron is searching for community heroes across Renfrewshire as nominations for the Provost’s Community Awards open for 2021. 

provost community awards

This year there are seven categories to nominate in, including a new category to recognise businesses who have adapted to ensure their survival during the Covid19 pandemic. You can nominate anyone who lives or works in Renfrewshire for the following categories:

  • Community Volunteer (sponsored by Glasgow Airport Ltd)
  • Community Group (sponsored by City Gate Construction)
  • Sporting Achievement (sponsored by ACRE Industrial)
  • Employee of the Year (sponsored by UNISON Renfrewshire)
  • Carers Award (sponsored by former Provost Nancy Allison)
  • Arts and Culture Award (sponsored by Renfrewshire Council)
  • Ingenuity in Business (sponsored by Provost Lorraine Cameron)

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “This year has been unlike any other and it’s important that we pay tribute to the local unsung heroes who keep our communities going.

“We have recently heard of the sad death of former Provost Nancy Allison, who established the very first awards in 1997, and I know, for certain, that Nancy would have been very happy that I have decided to go ahead this year, despite the pandemic.  She knew how important it was to recognise the big hearted people who support their communities and that is why we continue with these awards year after year.

“Earlier this year I awarded certificates to those who I know have gone the extra mile throughout the pandemic, but these awards are different – they come from the community themselves. Now it is your chance to tell me about the hard work that these groups and individuals do.

“Unfortunately, we won’t be able to have an event this year to celebrate these achievements, but we will make sure the winners are announced online and through other media channels. I know there are some fantastic people out there who really deserve to be recognised and I can’t wait to read your nominations.”

The deadline for entries to all categories is Friday 29 January 2021.

For more information, and to submit your nomination, visit http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/provostawards2021, or email provostawards@renfrewshire.gov.uk

shopfront

CLAIRE Cunningham-Stirrup’s business baby was a stall selling children’s clothes at Braehead shopping centre.

And like all parents she has watched with pride as her Kiddie Boutique offspring has grown over the past ten years to become Scotland’s biggest independent children’s clothing company.

shopfront

After running the stall for three years, Claire moved into an 1100 square foot shop at Braehead, but now she has moved into a new store in the mall – almost three times the size of her previous shop.

Claire admits she was more than a little emotional when she opened her new Kiddie Boutique store after years of hard work and long hours building the business she started when she couldn’t get the clothes she wanted for her then baby daughter, Rebecca.

Claire explains: “I was on maternity leave from my job as the manager of a travel agents after my daughter, Rebecca was born ten years ago and I couldn’t get the brands of clothing I wanted for her.

“That’s when I realised there was a gap in the market and very few shopping centres had independent kids-wear stores.

“So, after a lot of research into what products were available at the right price, I decided to start selling quality children’s clothing from what is known as a retail merchandising unit only a few metres long.

“I was stunned how popular it was and very quickly we became extremely busy and it has stayed that way ever since. After three years we had become so successful it was time to move to a shop and I leased one of the retail units in the upper mall.

“Seven years on we had yet again outgrown our shop and we needed to move to bigger premises in the mall.

claire cunningham

“We now have lots more space and are able to stock more brands and a bigger collection of children’s clothing. The bigger shop also means customers have more room to browse and enjoy their time in our store.”

Kiddie Boutique has won a host of accolades in the Braehead Retail Awards over the years, including Best Children’s Wear Store three times and Best Customer Services awards.

The store has also had some celebrity customers with singer, Paolo Nutini popping in to buy his nephew a Mitch and Son tracksuit, Coronation Street actress, Helen Flanagan choosing clothes for her daughter, Matilda and X Factor star Nicholas McDonald also buying an outfit as a gift.

Claire continued: “When I first opened, I was working ten-hour days, seven days a week, but now I employ 25 people.

“I definitely thought of it as my business baby and now with us moving to a bigger store, it seems like my baby has grown up and is like a teenager heading into adulthood.

“I was very emotional when we opened the new shop as a phenomenal amount of hard work has gone into the business over the past ten years.”

“To be able to achieve this in the middle of a pandemic really is amazing. I cannot thank Braehead enough for their continued support throughout our first ten years in business.

“To allow a small independent business to grow in such a tough environment dominated by big multiple companies really has been phenomenal. We are delighted to have such a wonderful and successful store at Braehead.

Claire added: “You never know how a business is going to go when you first start out, but when I realised I was on to something and it was working, my ambition was to eventually run the biggest independent children’s wear company in Scotland.

“And that’s what has happened now I’ve moved into this bigger retail unit.

“We’ve been able to build on what we’ve achieved at Braehead and we launched a Kiddie Boutique online business as well, although the physical store we have is still the most successful.

“We are delighted and cannot thank our customers enough for their on-going support. We hope to continue to bring high quality Childrenswear to Braehead for many years to come.”

Renfrewshire

“Covid-19 has had a huge impact on our health, our wellbeing, our communities and our economy, but I am confident that by working together, Renfrewshire will recover and renew to come back stronger.”

That’s according to Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson, as he welcomes plans for Renfrewshire’s economic and social recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic.

Renfrewshire

Councillors will consider the ambitious plans next week which aim to create jobs and upskill employees, bolster business, invest in housing, tackle inequalities and improve the lives of people living and working in Renfrewshire.

Stark statistics within the reports lay bare the impact of the pandemic in Renfrewshire, with 293 local people having lost their lives.

The number of people claiming benefits rose by 80% at the height of the virus, while 6,000 crisis grant applications have been received, thousands have been supported through neighbourhood hubs and local community groups and Renfrewshire Foodbank has helped more than 4,000 adults and children.

Furlough support for Renfrewshire employees is estimated to equate to £115million and self-income support to almost £10million.

 

Cllr Iain Nicolson

Councillor Nicolson said: “The pandemic has impacted on all parts of daily life and in some cases exacerbated existing vulnerabilities or created new difficulties. Many people and businesses have been impacted, through bereavement, loss of income, isolation and loneliness.

“Since the outset, Council staff have been working tirelessly together with community groups and local volunteers as well as with national agencies to support people during these unprecedented times, and the collective response has been phenomenal.

“This work continues and while the true impact of the pandemic will take time to fully emerge, we have been carrying out detailed research and together with community groups, local businesses and economic leaders, we have been preparing our plans for recovery and renewal.”

The two-year economic recovery plan has been prepared with, and approved by, Renfrewshire’s Economic Leadership Panel, which pools business expertise from major local employers and skills and enterprise agencies.

It is underpinned by economic analysis by the University of Strathclyde’s Fraser of Allander Institute and by a summer survey of 500 local companies, with further data being collected next spring following the end of the furlough scheme and the Brexit transition period.

Detailing 14 priority actions the panel believe will make the biggest difference locally, the report focuses on support for business, young people, wellbeing, skills and employability, fostering a green recovery and on capital investment.

Councillor Nicolson added: “The building blocks of Renfrewshire’s economy have been consistently strong for some time and there are significant opportunities for growth after the pandemic with a strong business base, excellent educational facilities and £500million in capital investment well under way.

Lovell Cocstruction, social housing, Bishopton

Lovell Cocstruction, social housing, Bishopton

“We will build on this by creating jobs and training opportunities for our young people, including 150 new apprenticeships, with targeted projects to tackle unemployment and reduce health inequalities, and measures to bolster the skills and innovation of our significant manufacturing sector. To achieve this plan, all partner agencies will have a key role to play and by combining our knowledge and expertise, we can achieve so much more.”

Tackling inequalities is at the heart of the developing social renewal plan for Renfrewshire, which is being prepared through a public survey of 1,500 people combined with ‘listening events’ with community groups during winter 2020, to better understand the impacts of COVID-19 and involve local people in identifying solutions to the issues they face.

Council Depute Leader Jim Paterson said: “Local people and communities continue to experience significant impacts on their lives resulting from the pandemic and sadly the initial findings suggest it is most affecting people on low incomes and in insecure employment, in particular women and young people.

“The social renewal plan will act as the blueprint for how we will work with our partners to learn from the pandemic and build on this experience to tackle the inequalities that exist in our communities.”

Councillors will also be asked to approve plans for at least £100million of additional investment over the next 10 years in Council housing across Renfrewshire, with the first phase targeting investment to eight areas across Johnstone, Paisley and Renfrew.

Communities, Housing and Planning Convener Councillor Marie McGurk said: “Coronavirus has underlined the importance of our home on our wellbeing and the need to live within a supportive community environment.

“This planned investment will provide a step-change in housing conditions for Council tenants by enhancing properties inside and out, making them more energy efficient and creating safe, welcoming neighbourhoods.

“At each location, we will develop comprehensive regeneration place plans, engaging with tenants and the wider community to create places to be proud of through a mix of improvements and new homes, this approach will continue the recent investment by the council and housing associations which will see more than 1,000 affordable homes completed by 2022.”

paisley-abbey-logos

When it comes to hiking, there’s nothing worse than having to do so with wet feet because neither your socks or shoes could handle the terrain. While the first defense against water on your hike would be through your sneakers, many forget about the backup plan—your socks. 

What are waterproof socks? They’re exactly what they sound like—they’re socks that are designed to be completely waterproof and therefor serve as a protectant against wet feet. Most waterproof socks consist of a waterproof membrane that allows water vapor to escape without letting water or moisture in. 

So, what are the best waterproof socks for 2020? Here are the things you should look for when finding the best fit for you:

Multiple Uses

Waterproof socks are not made for the sole purpose of tackling hiking trails. They can be used for many different activities including:

  • Cycling
  • Golfing
  • Fishing
  • Hiking/walking
  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding

No matter what spots you visit as a nature lover, waterproof socks can be an aid to your adventure that your feet will thank you for. 

Reliable Materials

There are two blends of materials that most waterproof socks are made from:

  • Nylon and Coolmax: This is a material blend that uses lightweight and moisture-wicking nylon to protect feet from water. Since nylon doesn’t absorb water as other fibers do, it makes a great material for waterproof socks. 
  • Merino Wool: This blend is focused on warmth over comfort. Because merino wool is recognized for its thermal properties, it’s even used by the military to protect duty members feet from water and cold—so, not only does merino keep your feet dry, but it keeps them warm as well.

Depending on preference, you may want to choose one material blend over the other.

Both Waterproof and Weatherproof

Whether you’re hiking or cycling, golfing or snowboarding, wet feet can ruin any adventure if you don’t properly prepare. That being said, waterproof socks have you covered no matter what obstacles are thrown your way. Not only do they protect your feet from water, but they can also withstand high water pressure. The amount of water pressure socks can handle is measured by using a hydrostatic head pressure rating (HHPR), which is basically a measure of how water resistant a material is. 

Easy Washing

Washing waterproof socks is as easy as these four simple steps:

  1. Take a bowl and fill it with lukewarm water and add soap. You’ll want to be sure not to use boiling water as that can damage the material.
  2. Turn the socks inside out and use the lukewarm water to thoroughly wash them. If you prefer, you can even use body wash in place of regular soap as this won’t damage the waterproof lining. 
  3. Turn them inside out again and repeat the washing process.
  4. Once both the inside and outside have been thoroughly washed, let them air or hang dry—preferably in the fresh air. Similar to boiling water, you’ll want to avoid drying your socks on a radiator or heater as that can also damage the material.

Considerations Before Buying

Now that you’ve decided to buy yourself a pair of waterproof socks, you’ll want to consider two things: size, and whether you want knee length or mid-calf height. Depending on the materials, some brands are more forgiving and flexible than others. Always be sure to consult a brand’s size chart before purchasing.

Beyond that, you’ll have to decide how much water protection you need. Since their socks come in mid-calf and knee length versions, you can choose which is best for you and your plans. Knee length socks are better for fishing and wading, or other boating activities. Midcalf socks, on the other hand, are ideal for cyclers, hikers, and runners.  

Overall Benefits

Overall, here are some of the best benefits that waterproof socks have to offer:

  • Waterproof and warm

Waterproof socks will keep feet both dry and warm no matter how far your journey is going to take you. 

  • Debris resistant

Not only do these socks protect you from water, but they protect you from different debris you may encounter on the trail.

  • Practical and comfortable

Since these socks consist of three different layers, they’re geared toward comfort and won’t be too tight or itchy for even the pickiest of hikers. 

  • Hygiene/cleanliness

A huge benefit of waterproof socks is their ability to improve the hygiene of your feet. Of course, if your feet get wet during a long hike and then have to be in your shoes like that for a long period of time, they can cause infections, irritation, or other funks. These socks can help to ward off these potential issues.

  • Multipurpose

Unlike some hiking socks, waterproof socks aren’t only made for hiking trails. They can be used for many other actives, as previously mentioned, including, golfing, fishing, and cycling. 

Conclusion

When searching for waterproof socks, be sure to purchase ones that are built to withstand any adventure thrown their way, keeping your feet dry, warm, and protected along the way.

 

toy 4

THE Braehead shopping mall is backing an appeal for donations of Christmas gifts to disadvantaged children and teenagers.

A giant collecting box has been installed at the central atrium in the lower mall for donations of unwrapped gifts to be dropped off.

toy 4

All gifts will then be passed on to the Renfrewshire Christmas Toy Bank appeal and volunteers there will distribute the presents to children and teenagers up to the age of 18.

This is the third year the shopping centre has supported the appeal, which was started by Renfrew mum, Lauren Roy-Sutherland.

Last year, the Renfrewshire Christmas Toy Bank provided 1500 gifts to young people, but this year Lauren reckons the referrals they will get from various charities, social workers, community groups and the local Food Bank could reach as high as 4000.

Lauren said: “We are finding more families than ever before need a donation from us this year.

”Covid has definitely taken a toll on family finances with redundancies that are taking place and although people are still in work, they are being furloughed and receiving 80 per cent of their wages.

“But as always, people have been very generous with their donations and we’d like to thank Braehead for her support in allowing us to have a collection box in the mall.”

Braehead’s community development manager, Lydia Brown said: “With all that has been going on this year it’s more important than ever to make sure children and young people can celebrate and enjoy Christmas.

“Our visitors to Braehead have always been extremely generous when it comes to donating gifts for young people of all ages and I’m sure it will be the same again this year.

“And we’d like to thank them for everything they have donated in the past and what will be donated this year.”

Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre Directors break ground at the new facility site

CPI has today announced the start of construction at the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre in Renfrewshire, Scotland.

Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre Directors break ground at the new facility site

The new technology and innovation centre is set to become a unique and world-leading facility offering transformative solutions in small molecule and pharmaceutical manufacturing. It will accelerate the development and industrialisation of next-generation medicines manufacturing innovations and maximise technology opportunities within the medicines supply chain. Industry, academia, healthcare providers and regulators will work collaboratively within a GMP environment to address industry challenges and de-risk new technologies, providing a clear pathway for their widespread adoption within the pharmaceutical industry.

 

The Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre is a collaboration between CPI, the University of Strathclyde and founding industry partners, GSK and AstraZeneca with funding provided by Scottish Enterprise and UK Research and Innovation. The Centre has recently agreed partnerships with four leading technology companies to further strengthen the range of expertise in the collaboration.

The facility will translate, at industrial and commercial scale, novel techniques for producing patient-centric medicines, including real-time release of drugs, and integrated process analytics to drive the transformation of medicines manufacturing. These technologies will enable a reduction in quantities of the materials currently required in process development; accelerate timelines to achieve just-in-time, right-first-time and real-time-release manufacturing principles; and ultimately accelerate access of affordable medicines for healthcare providers and patients.

 

Companies of all sizes will be able to use the facility to evaluate, test and prototype processes using an array of advanced Industry 4.0 manufacturing technologies, including continuous, digital and autonomous manufacturing. The utilisation of next-generation technology will enable more efficient drug production to protect future generations by bringing new medicines to market safely and quickly.

 

The facility is due for completion late 2021 and will be operational in early 2022. It is expected to eventually house over 80 staff in both technical and non-technical roles.

 

Nadhim Zahawi, Life Sciences Minister, said: “Backed with £13 million of government funding, this centre is the first of its kind and will significantly boost our domestic medicines manufacturing capability to ensure we are prepared for any future health crises. Complementing our state of the art Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre in Oxfordshire, it will ensure we are at the forefront of transformational technologies, attracting tens-of-millions-of-pounds of investment to the UK and creating new highly-skilled jobs in the Renfrewshire area – a great example of how we are working to build back better.”

 

Ivan McKee, Scottish Government Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, said: “The Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre is a tremendous boost to the Scottish economy, and a great endorsement of Scotland’s strengths in life and chemical sciences. The Scottish Government is committed to attracting inward investment from global partners, whose investment in this project will help to create highly skilled jobs in Scotland in a vitally important sector. As an integral part of the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland, the centre will put Scotland at the cutting edge of advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing, developing innovative technologies which will help to strengthen the pharmaceutical supply chain.”

 

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, said: “As strategic partners in the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre, the University of Strathclyde is utilising its research, innovation and internationally-leading experience and expertise in advanced medicines manufacturing to meet the biggest health challenges facing our world. We are delighted to be working in collaboration with our partners across industry, academia, government and healthcare to accelerate and transform the medicines manufacturing process. We are excited to see construction begin on what will be a distinctive and important asset to the Glasgow City region and to Scotland.”

 

Jon-Paul Sherlock, Technology Strategy Lead at AstraZeneca, said: “Manufacturing innovation is critical to future pharmaceutical supply chains. Molecules are more complex, development times shorter and the expectations of patients and healthcare systems higher than ever before. However, for a highly regulated industry, innovation is risky and potentially expensive. This facility will enable close collaboration between industry, government and academia and will be a game-changer; resulting in faster industrialisation and implementation of exciting new opportunities.”

 

Andy Jones, Medicines Manufacturing Challenge Director at UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), one of the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre’s main funders, said: “The Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre will play a key role in the infrastructure the UK is building, investing in medicines manufacturing innovation to tackle today’s health challenges and those of the future. It will also be ideally placed to help turn great ideas into great business, ensuring that UK innovators can access a global, life sciences market worth some £98 billion.”

 

Derek Shaw, Commercial Director at Scottish Enterprise, one of the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre’s main funders, said: “This is an important and exciting step in the development of the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre, and the opportunities it will unlock for businesses through collaboration between academia, industry and government. Industry leadership and co-investment are central to shaping the facility and Scottish Enterprise is proud to have committed £15 million of funding alongside our partners.”

 

Dave Tudor, Managing Director of the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre, Quality and Biologics, at CPI, said: “We are thrilled to be starting the construction of this new, collaborative centre. The consortium is already working together on several ambitious projects with the aim to de-risk disruptive technology that can lower the cost of drug development. Live projects include a digitally-twinned continuous direct compression platform to increase the productivity of drug product manufacture, and an automated platform to enable just-in-time supply for clinical trials which will drastically cut lead times. We look forward to bringing that technology and cross-sector expertise to these new facilities.”

 

Frank Millar, CEO at CPI, said: “Ageing populations, the increasing cost of drug development, and resource constraints impeding the adoption of emergent technologies are just some of the challenges facing the pharmaceutical industry today. The increasing financial burden on the healthcare system as a whole has led to a pressing need for more cost-effective medication. By connecting the dots between academia, government, industry and healthcare providers within this state-of-the-art centre, we can address these issues and transform the pharmaceutical supply chain for the future.”