One of Scotland’s most successful business locations received a boost to its growth potential yesterday (26.01.16) when councillors agreed to progress with plans to create a Simplified Planning Zone (SPZ) at Westway Business Park, Renfrew. The park is already workplace to 2,500 people and its growth plans are expected to create a further 1,000 jobs.



This innovative move effectively grants planning permission in advance for certain types of development specified within the Westway scheme. Any developments within an SPZ are well controlled to ensure that good standards of design and quality are met and that the zone is developed appropriately.

Simplified planning will contribute to the park’s ongoing success as businesses at Westway will have the flexibility adapt their premises to meet the demands of their markets and customers.

Its Simplified Planning Zone status will also support Westway’s master plan to attract a further 1,000 jobs to the site. The scheme will support the long term growth of businesses already based at Westway and attract new looking for a location that will accommodate their future needs.

Councillor Terry Kelly, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Planning and Property Board, said; “This SPZ is an enterprising move for Westway and for the council. It will encourage business to locate and grow in the area; creating jobs and further economic success. We appreciate Westway’s commitment to Renfrewshire and are pleased to be able to support the park’s development plans.”

Mark Holmes from Moorfield Group added: “This is another exciting move for Westway. Our SPZ will definitely support our ongoing marketing and growth plans. We already offer a prime business location with easy access to the airport, the motorway and, of course, our own dock. The SPZ and City Deal investments will add even more to our offer. Renfrewshire Council is leading the way with innovative planning strategies and has been tremendously effective in supporting our growth strategy. We look forward to working closely with the council on all these projects.”

Westway’s commercial offer will also be enhanced by the City Deal infrastructure investments planned for Renfrewshire. It is part of the Glasgow Airport Area Investment Area project designed to link the Airport, Inchinnan and Westway business parks with a new bridge, roads, paths and cycleways. This will create an outstanding location with tremendous air, sea and land connections. Westway employees will also benefit from City Deal plans for a rail link between the Airport, Paisley Gilmour Street and Glasgow Central station.

The prospect of more jobs is good news for Renfrew whose own Town Centre SPZ – Scotland’s first – is also expected to boost local business. The City Deal’s Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside Project will create conditions for further growth in the town when new roads and a bridge between Renfrew and Yoker will promote the regeneration and development of vacant and under used sites


It is time for The Renfrewshire Tapestry

Andrew Crummy, Scottish artist and designer – who drew the panels for the Battle of Prestonpans, the Great Tapestry of Scotland and the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry – will be working together with an eclectic group of people to create a tapestry for Renfrewshire. It will be a celebration of the amazing global importance of this part of Scotland, a tourism draw and have its part to play in the City of Culture bid 2021.

Want to know more? Want to take part?

Everyone is welcome to our Call to Yarns! – The Renfrewshire Tapestry project launch

On Saturday 20 February 2016

At Paisley Abbey

From 11am until 1pm

Andrew Crummy will be introducing the project, as well as leading a workshop.

You can also:

  • Take part in a textile walk
  • Chat to historians and meet up with a monk, walk with Wallace, greet a gallus Mill Girl…
  • Tell your stories and memories
  • Try your hand at a stitch or more
  • Please also – Donate your tapestry wool – authentic Anchor tapestry wool is needed to sew the tapestry. We are determined the tapestry will only be sewn with authentic Anchor yarn. Please look out any tapestry wool that you have in your households… and bring it with you.

The Renfrewshire Tapestry will reflect the wonderful history of Renfrewshire. Everyone who is involved will be acknowledged in this stepping stone in the continued celebration of the unique status of Renfrewshire.

WELCOME to Call to Yarns! – The Renfrewshire Tapestry Launch

Images copyright of Andrew Crummy, Alex Hewitt and Weaving Musical Threads [WMT]

hairs invest

The team at Paisley’s Napier Hair and Beauty lined up with Councillor Mark Macmillan, Leader of Renfrewshire Council to applaud the work of the Invest in Renfrewshire partnership and to celebrate the salon’s successes in staff training and development. The business support and employability partnership has, in three years, worked with almost 800 businesses and found work and training opportunities for nearly 3000 residents.

hairs invest

Owner, Elaine Napier, started working closely with the team at Invest in 2013. Since then, she has been able to boost the salon’s training budget, find staff and create new positions with support from the programme.

In the true spirit of Invest, Elaine has also worked with Renfrewshire’s young job seekers delivering industry awareness sessions. She is also getting ready to offer hairdressing skills training to young people– even if they do not work at Napier.

She said” Invest is helping Napier a lot. It is vital that our staff are trained to the highest standards and that we can offer them long term and fulfilling careers. Everyone benefits from this approach and Invest has helped with staff recruitment, training and retention.

“Just as importantly, Invest is also helping trades and professions locally by encouraging training, linking young people to career opportunities and supporting the town’s business community.

“We haven’t looked back since we connected to Invest and met like-minded people from all sorts of local businesses. Renfrewshire has a strong community of entrepreneurs who are committed to excellence, to their staff and to their communities. Businesses who share these values tend to sign up to the Invest partnership.”

Elaine Napier’s belief in staff development is paying off. Now a stylist with the salon, Reece Phimister won The Scottish Training Federation’s Modern Apprentice of the Year, was third in the Glasgow Trades House Awards and came Runner-up in the Renfrewshire Employability Awards. The salon has alsao just recruited Paisley resident, Toni Gallagher, who will train a hair spa specialist to add a further dimension to Napier’s customer service.

Councillor Mark Macmillan said: “Napier is one of many Renfrewshire businesses who are adding value to their employees’ prospects and to the local economy by committing to staff development and working in partnership with Invest. I’d like to congratulate Elaine and her team for their drive and professionalism and to thank them for their support. “

Businesses interested in joining the Invest in Renfrewshire partnership to find support for their growth, employ new staff, contribute to the local economy and connect with other entrepreneurs, should call 0300 300 0144.


Paisley’s Kibble Education and Care Centre has won a top award for training and employing young people.

Kibble achieved the prestigious Investors in Young People Gold Accreditation – the only people management standard that focuses on an employer’s recruitment and retention of young people.
The award recognises the organisation’s commitment to the training and development of young people.

A year after launching, research by the University of Glasgow has revealed that, 100% of Scottish businesses which have received the Investors in Young People (IIYP) accreditation rate the experience as “positive” or “very positive”

It also demonstrates that Kibble is an employer of choice for young people and is testament to their effective practices around youth employment.

The IIYP organisation, Scotland’s only people management award focusing on employers’ recruitment and retention of young people, originated through a key recommendation from the Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce, led by Sir Ian Wood.

Offered to all businesses across Scotland, the award recognises and supports organisations in the employment of young people.

Having now achieved the gold accreditation, Kibble is now eligible to use and display the Investors in Young People gold logo and plaque, and enjoy its benefits.

Commenting on the award, Graham Bell, Kibble’s chief executive said: “We have been looking after, educating and training young people, so they can play a positive role in society for more than 150 years.

“Young people are the future of our society and our role is to help disadvantaged young people play a part in that future.

“We appreciate and thank the IIYP organisation for recognising the good work we do with young people.”

Peter Russian, Chief Executive of Investors in People Scotland, said “This is a fantastic achievement for Kibble and I and the whole IIYP team would like to wholeheartedly congratulate them. The Investors in Young People framework not only recognises and supports organisations in the employment of young people, but also marks them out as an employer of choice.

“The benefits of recruiting and developing young people are countless. These include the creation of a talent pool for the future, new and increased skills in areas such as IT and social media, fresh eyes and mind-sets into business operations along with enthusiasm and unique talents.”


Kibble award pic Caption: From left, Laura Peacock, Investors In People Scotland David Baird and Marie Murphy, Kibble Education and Care Centre and
Annabelle Ewing, Scotland’s Minister for Youth and Women’s Employment, who presented the Gold Award.

The Renfrewshire Employability Awards brought local movers and shakers out in force to recognise and celebrate the hard work, talent and commitment that so clearly characterises Renfrewshire’s employers and employees. Guests at the glittering ceremony in Renfrew’s Normandy Hotel were entertained by TV and Radio presenter, Des McLean.

In the three years since its foundation, the Invest in Renfrewshire partnership has created 882 new work opportunities. ‘Invest’ has also helped 400 local businesses with their growth plans. The Awards recognise the work and cooperation that built this success.

Councillor MacMillan said: “All the finalists are an inspiration. It’s important that we appreciate how hard people are working and how ready they are to learn, innovate and share their success. The Awards process finds people and businesses who are building better futures for themselves, their organisations and for all of Renfrewshire’s communities.”

All the finalists were recognised as having made excellent contributions to their workplaces and the night’s winners were chosen as examples of Renfrewshire’s excellence.

The winners were:

  • Top Intern, Caroline Guthrie-Tate of Kuka Studios
  • Best Trainee, Lesley Ann McKellar of Hugh Smiley Nursery
  • CV Builder, Ewan Thomson, Gleniffer High School
  • Most Promising New Employee, Rhiannon McMillan, Bray Controls UK Ltd
  • Most Promising New Entrepreneur, Ross McGaffney, Commando -X-Fit
  • Progression in Work, Beth Leitch, Paisley Autocare Ltd
  • Renfrewshire Apprentice of the Year, Steven McFadyen, Thermofisher Scientific
  • Achiever of the Year Award, Sean Folger, Paisley South Housing Association

The Awards event took place a week ahead of the official opening of Invest in Renfrewshire’s new business incubator, the InCube. Thirteen young enterprises have each won a year’s place in the newly refurbished premises at 127 High Street, Paisley. There, they will benefit from business support, training and from being part of a community of entrepreneurs. InCube’s winners, who impressed judges with their innovation, commitment and enterprise, were announced as:

Bella Brilla, Ltd; Nina Mare; Pea Cooper Millinery; Guitar Slide, Ltd; Vonnie Print Designs; Subsafe Audio Ltd; Tatty Rose Ltd; Pop Up! Scotland; D.O.M. Art, Ltd; Treetops Boutique; Amy McGregor; Knit Knax and RAMH.

Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce was given a Special Recognition Award in appreciation of its unerring support for the principles and practical work of the Invest partnership.

A&D Logistics, of Johnstone also received a special Recognition Award for its work with schools and in developing an innovative traineeship to build careers and develop the skills needed in the logistics industry.

A third Special Recognition Award went to Paisley Autocare. This company has taken on four apprentice mechanics, employed a further trainee in administration and welcomed three young people on work experience placements.

In summing up the evening, Councillor Mark Macmillan said: “Occasions like this give us a flavour of the work and cooperation that’s happening throughout Renfrewshire. We can all be proud of the achievements we celebrated tonight. We can also be certain that as Renfrewshire’s economy continues to grow, our talent and drive will create even more success throughout our communities.”

Renfrewshire’s Apprentices

This is Scottish Apprenticeship Week and a chance for 16-19 year olds to investigate the opportunities that a Modern Apprenticeship can offer. Young people who want to learn while they work and are keen to take the first steps on their career ladder can choose from a great range of apprenticeships. In Renfrewshire, there are traineeships in traditional trades and crafts, in leisure and retail businesses, clerical and childcare posts, and in a variety of council services.

Some of Renfrewshire’s current apprentices met with Council Leader, Mark Macmillan, to discuss how they are building careers with local employers.

David Harris, is doing his apprenticeship with Paisley Autocare. He said; “I’ve always loved cars and to work with them every day is a real treat. It’s inspiring when you get the chance to do a specific piece of work on a car. I also value the security of knowing I have a job with people I like for the next four years.

His boss, John Convery is a great believer in apprenticeships. “It’s how we do things in this trade but, more than that, it’s how we like to work. It means we can train staff who’ll help our business grow and we create long term career opportunities for local people.

Claire Crummie is in the second year of her apprenticeship with Napier Hair and Beauty. She was attracted by the opportunity to “earn and learn and work with people who have the same goals. I get to experience every aspect of the hairdressing profession”. Claire would recommend starting a career with an apprenticeship and advises others to “research the industry and employer that you’d like to work with and make sure they can provide you with the training you need to take you to wherever you want to go.

Napier Hair and Beauty is owned by Elaine Napier, who is another firm believer in training and staff development, said, “Hairdressing is a profession that offers great variety and career potential. We make sure that our apprentices get broad training and experience of the highest standard. It pays off for us. We develop great hairdressers for a business where personal skills are vital. It also means that we forge strong, long term links with our clients.”

Also pictured, are Georgia Blair who is an apprentice dental nurse with Foxbar Dental Practice with Declan Hamilton and Connie Lamb who work for Invest in Renfrewshire. They all value learning from colleagues and working towards their future. Georgia says, “You learn a lot quicker and you learn a lot more, I believe that being in the working environment develops your people and personal skills more rapidly.”

Councillor Mark Macmillan, Leader of Renfrewshire Council said, “These young people are inspiring. They are committed to learning and professional development and are already a credit to their employers. They’re building a future for themselves in Renfrewshire and they’re helping businesses to grow.”

Graham McIntyre owns Gormac Coachworks and has employed a succession of apprentices who have stayed on with the business after they qualified. He says,“Our apprentices are part of Gormac’s growth story. We’ve built up a fantastic team over the years and its members are the key strength in this business. To prove the point, we expect to recruit another apprentice later this year.”

Councillor Mark Macmillan believes that apprenticeships are a vital part of Renfrewshire’s potential. “When an employer takes on an apprentice, they invest in that young person, they invest in their own growth, and they invest in Renfrewshire’s future. This is exactly how we want to strengthen Renfrewshire; with real opportunities, sustained business success and cooperation between businesses, residents, the council and our partners in education.”

On Wednesday (20 May), more than 70 young people attended an Information Evening at West College Paisley where they met with potential employers and learned about apprenticeships. To find out more about becoming an apprentice or employing one in Renfrewshire, call 0300 300 1180 or visit

b2b flyer 2015

“Business Matters in Renfrewshire” your local free to attend b2b event 14-15th May ‪#‎b2bpaisley – 58+ exhibitors, 6 seminars, 4 speakers – attend and help your business grow & prosper.

All business people including non-members welcome plus students and senior pupils. Space also for more exhibitors (there is a cost). Register at

invest in renfrewshire

Invest in Renfrewshire, the council-run business support and employability initiative is gearing up to celebrate the success of more than 2,500 people who have found work and training opportunities through the programme.

For the second year, Renfrewshire Council and the Renfrewshire Community Planning Partners will be hosting an awards ceremony to celebrate the success of local employability programmes and the many people who have progressed through them.

Euan Keltie, who won last year’s Progression in Work Award and Laura Morrow who was last year’s Most Promising New Entrepreneur winner joined council Leader Mark Macmillan to launch the competition. Euan works with Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce and Laura’s business, Casa Bebe has gone from strength to strength.

Businesses and organisations who have taken on trainees, graduate interns and employees through Invest in Renfrewshire are being asked to nominate their staff for awards that recognise talent, dedication and enterprise.

Councillor Macmillan believes that Celebrating Success is important; ‘We all need to recognise the calibre and commitment so clearly demonstrated by the businesses and trainees who work with Invest in Renfrewshire. Their determination to succeed and their loyalty to Renfrewshire help to generate opportunities for individuals, support business growth and boost our economy. Invest in Renfrewshire is all about cooperation and the awards recognise collective success as well as individual achievement.’

Winners and participants will be recognised at a glittering Celebrating Success dinner at the Normandy Hotel in June.

Nominations should submitted by May 22nd 2015. Forms can be downloaded from To talk to an officer about the awards or the work of Invest in Renfrewshire, call 0300 300 1180.

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Renfrewshire Council Leader unveils promise of wage subsidy for every firm

Every small-to-medium-sized Renfrewshire firm will be able to access council financial support to create a job for an unemployed young person.

Councillor Mark Macmillan made the promise as part of the second anniversary celebrations of Invest in Renfrewshire – the council’s programme to boost business and tackle unemployment.

Under the Renfrewshire Employer Offer, any small-to-medium-sized firm hiring an unemployed young person will be eligible for financial support to help pay that person’s wages.

A firm taking on a young person for more than 25 hours per week will get 50 per cent of national minimum wage for up to 40 hours a week, for up to 12 months.

Invest in Renfrewshire employment conference

Invest in Renfrewshire already runs an employer recruitment incentive programme, while Jobcentre Plus have a similar scheme called the Youth Contract – but the conditions and size of grant depend on who you go to, and who you appoint.

Under the Renfrewshire Employer Offer, the council will top up any gaps in the Jobcentre scheme, meaning the same conditions are on offer across the board.

Invest in Renfrewshire and Jobcentre Plus staff will advise any business on which support best suits them, meaning the vacancy-filling process is simplified for all.

Councillor Macmillan said: “The council is determined to ensure local companies can get the help they need to grow their business and their workforce.

“That’s why we have made such a significant financial contribution to boosting local firms and tackling unemployment through the Invest in Renfrewshire programme.

“Over the two years of Invest in Renfrewshire we have made great strides in tackling unemployment – the rate of local 18-24 year-olds claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance is now just over six per cent, having been above 11 per cent when Invest started.

“In that time more than 650 companies have signed up to benefit from our packages of financial support – but we are always looking for new ways to make things easier.

“With that in mind, the Renfrewshire Employer Offer neatly ties together some schemes that are already there – our own wage subsidy programme, and the Jobcentre Plus equivalent.

“This way, any business knows they can get the same level of support, with the same terms and conditions – no matter which organisation they approach first.”

Cllr Macmillan’s announcement was made as part of a two-day celebration of Invest in Renfrewshire’s second birthday, featuring a showcase and awards ceremony for local businesses, and a conference for employability professionals.

The conference saw around 200 delegates from organisations and training providers from across the area gather to hear updates on latest news and to share ideas on how inequality can be tackled in the job market.

For more information on Invest in Renfrewshire, call 0300 300 1180, email, or visit[/vc_column_text][vc_separator icon=”star”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

500 not out for council’s Invest in Renfrewshire scheme.

A family-run Renfrewshire engineering firm has just become the 500th local business to sign up for a council scheme aimed at boosting the local economy.

Reekie Machining of Inchinnan has been in existence for almost 70 years, but is now the newest sign-up for the £8m Invest in Renfrewshire programme.

Invest in Renfrewshire offers various packages of financial support to local firms with the twin aims of boosting business and tackling unemployment.

Reekie Machining – currently sub-contracted to work on the project to build a new Forth Road crossing – has received a business development grant through Invest.

This will go towards the cost of purchasing new high-tech measuring machinery which will help the firm increase the range of services offered to clients.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan met operations director David Reekie – whose grandfather started the firm back in 1947 – to congratulate him on becoming the 500th sign-up, and see for himself where the money will go.

He said: “When Invest started back in summer 2012, we set the target of signing up 1,000 businesses over what we initially expected to be a four-year programme.

“To have made 500 – and counting – within 18 months of the launch shows we are actually ahead of schedule.

“But the hard work doesn’t stop here – there are many more businesses out there who could benefit from the support we have to offer and who we can work with to help create employment opportunities for local residents.

“The council has made a sizeable financial commitment to Invest in Renfrewshire because we have a role to play in making Renfrewshire a better place to do business and see the local economy as one of our biggest priorities.

“We want the 500 companies who have signed up to Invest in Renfrewshire to help us spread the word to others and help the programme’s success continue.”

David Reekie, operations director of Reekie Machining, added: “The firm used to make and sell portable machine tools but these days we provide in situ machining services to clients, mainly in the oil and power industries.

“Our business development grant will help pay for a co-ordinate measuring machine, which will allow us to make more accurate measurements of machine parts.

Invest in Renfrewshire is a really good scheme – it helped us make the decision to invest in this machinery, as we may not have gone for it without the funding.”

Other financial support available through the scheme includes an employer recruitment incentive, which helps firms meet the wage costs of hiring an unemployed young person, as well as business loans and grants.

To date, Invest in Renfrewshire has supported the creation of more than 350 new local jobs.

To find out more about Invest in Renfrewshire, call 0300 300 1180, email or visit