Business leaders welcome National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland to Renfrewshire

Renfrewshire’s business community has welcomed the news that Scotland’s National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland (NMIS) will be established in Renfrewshire.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday (Monday 11 December) announced the industry-led institute will be built on Abbotsinch Road, next to Glasgow Airport, and will become the anchor tenant of a new 130-acre business and manufacturing innovation district in Renfrewshire.

A collaborative project between the Scottish Government and national skills and enterprise agencies together with the University of Strathclyde and Renfrewshire Council, the Institute will bring together skills, expertise, research and innovation to attract investment and develop Scotland into a global leader in advanced manufacturing.

The enabling infrastructure of roads, bridges, cycleways and pedestrian routes are being delivered by Renfrewshire Council through the £39.1million Glasgow Airport Investment Area project, funded through the Glasgow City Region City Deal.

Chair of Renfrewshire’s Economic Leadership Panel, Audrey Cumberford, feels the new institute will allow Renfrewshire to realise its economic potential.

She said: “Choosing Renfrewshire as the base for the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland is a clear indication of the area’s potential to be a leading light in the global manufacturing sector.

“The levels of private investment this could bring to Renfrewshire cannot be underestimated and this will provide a substantial boost to the area’s economic growth.

“The investment, combined with the significant improvement to infrastructure in the area, will be a key contributor in making Renfrewshire a more attractive, vibrant and sustainable place to live, work, visit and invest in.”

Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive, Bob Grant, has also welcomed the announcement citing the promise of thousands of new jobs coming into the area.

He said: “It is fantastic that Renfrewshire has been chosen as the home for the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland and it is recognition of our growing position within the international manufacturing sector.

“Thousands of highly-skilled jobs are set to be created across the next 20 years in a boost to employment across the area, while also providing an opportunity to inspire young people into an exciting and rewarding career within the industry.

“New and existing businesses in the area will feel the benefit of the increase in skilled workers in Renfrewshire, as well as the expertise and technological advances the institute brings, as it aims to allow Scotland to compete globally in manufacturing.”

The announcement builds on the recent development of the £8.9million Lightweight Manufacturing Centre, set to open in May 2018 at the Doosan Babcock site in Westway, Renfrew.

The centre will develop new manufacturing processes for lightweight materials for the aerospace and automotive industries.

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COACHES from Kilbarchan Amateur Athletic Club ran out with a hat-trick of wins at the annual Renfrewshire Sports Awards.
Arthur Smith won both the Community Coach of the Year and Dedication to Sport awards along with John Rodger, who lifted the Event Volunteer of 2017 award.

Arthur has been a member of Kilbarchan AAC for more than 50 years and has been coaching young athletes for three decades, including Scottish internationalist, Laura Stark and GB runner, Jemma Reekie.
John has been involved with the club for more than 20 years and has been instrumental in the development of athletics – cross-country, road race and track and field events in Renfrewshire’s schools. He is also heavily involved in organising the popular annual Paisley 10k Race and Fun Run.

Other winners presented with awards at the event,organised by Renfrewshire Lerisure and held at a ceremony in Johnstone Town Hall, were – Development Coach of the Year, Susan Wright, who is head coach of Clyde Judo Club; Young Coach of the Year, Claire Scougall, who coaches Paisley Juniors Netball Club and Volunteer of the Year was won by Joanne McDowall, who has developed sporting activity at Barsail Primary, in Erskine.
Young Volunteer of the Year went to Lusia Steele, who delivers school health days at Barsail Primary and volunteers at the Johnstone Jets cycling club; Disability Coach of the Year is Rachel Killens, who is a disabled athlete herself and coaches swimmers with additional support needs.

And Jack Thomson, a referee at the Basketball Paisley Friday Night Superleague, West Regional Development League and other Scottish League games, won the Technical Official of the Year award.
The Honour Our School Sports Award was given to one student from every local secondary school who has shown commitment to sport. The winners were –
Alan Rice, Linwood High; Amy McCann, Renfrew High; Craig Kennedy, Park Mains High; Eilidh Murphy, Gleniffer High; Franca Paterson, St Andrew’s Academy; Gemma Whyte, St Benedict’s High; John Martin, Johnstone High; Mario Girasoli, Trinity High and Rebecca Telford, from Gryffe High.

A Level Six Award in Higher Sports Leadership was presented to Alan Rice, Calum Findlay, Emma Driver, Heather Fawcett and Laura-Rose Reid.
The special guest at the awards ceremony was Corinne Hutton, from Lochwinnoch who has defied the odds after having had both her hands and legs amputated when she suffered acute pneumonia and septicemia.
Since losing her limbs, Corinne has gone on to set three world records including becoming the first female quadruple amputee to climb Ben Nevis. She has also set up a charity called Finding Your Feet to support families affected by amputation, or limb differences through a range of sporting and social inclusion initiatives.

Corinne took to the stage for a Question and Answer Session with the event host, broadcaster Lorraine Herbison.

Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa Marie Hughes said: “These awards showcase the talent, dedication and commitment of individuals in our community.

“With Paisley’s bid to become UK city of Culture 2021, sport plays a large role in the culture of our community. We have a vibrant and exciting sports network in Renfrewshire, which adds energy and passion to the overall bid.”
The successful event was sponsored by Renfrewshire Council, West College Scotland, Renfrewshire Sports Network, and SportScotland.

Yesterday, West College Scotland welcomed the “James Frew academy” apprentice plumbers on their first day here at our Paisley Campus.

The apprentices are embarking on a four year tailor-made modern apprenticeship which incorporates the Plumbing Vocational Qualification alongside other industry qualifications which are important to James Frew’s business.
Here to see the students embark on this programme from James Frew Ltd. were Yvonne Smith (Training Manager) and Kevin Kidd (Compliance and Training Manager).
West College Scotland will be partnered in this venture by The Scottish and Northern Ireland Employers Federation (SNIPEF).

Photo Captions

On picture DSC_0539 – front from left to right: Paul Lynn, West College Scotland Construction Curriculum & Quality Leader; David Walker, West College Scotland Building Services Curriculum & Quality Leader; Yvonne Smith, James Frew Ltd. Training Manager; and Kevin Kidd, James Frew Ltd. Compliance and Training Manager – back: 2017/18 James Frew academy apprentices

Construction students from West College Scotland’s Paisley Campus took part in an event to promote traditional construction at the Paisley Abbey this Monday and Tuesday.

During the event, the students demonstrated traditional construction skills to an attendance of Renfrewshire school pupils and the local community. Kids were able to have a try during hands-on taster sessions.

Tommy Campbell, Head of Sector – Construction at West College Scotland, said: “Traditional construction skills are crucial to maintain our architectural heritage and I am thrilled that our staff and students are taking an active part in this. This event is a fantastic opportunity for our students to showcase their skills and for school pupils to get inspired by construction trades – a great career path!”

West College Scotland Students were delighted to have the opportunity to share their passion for traditional construction works.

Alistair Wood, 22 from Glasgow, Roofing Apprentice with Archibald McCorquodale & Son Ltd, said: “It’s great to be able to demonstrate our skills, it helps us build our confidence level. I really enjoyed showing the kids how you can work slate and get a nice finish. That’s why I love my trade: it gives you a sense of accomplishment”.

Nicola Martin, 29 from Greenock, Painting & Decorating Apprentice with Kevin Houston Painter & Decorator in Johnstone, said: “The school pupils got really interested when we started the demonstration. It’s great to see girls and boys enthused about our trade. I was thrilled to show them what we can do in painting and decorating.”

West College Scotland and partner organisations were also very pleased to welcome Maurice Golden MSP and Ken Macintosh MSP at the event. Both of them were excited to take part in the hands-on skills sessions as well. Ken Macintosh MSP said: “This was a terrific exhibition of traditional construction skills and I want to say a big thank you to all the instructors and apprentices for taking the time to share with us their expertise and experience. It was fascinating to see such craftsmanship first hand and even more revealing to see how much satisfaction and pride everyone took in their work. Speaking to both the old hands and the new recruits, it is clear that learning these traditional skills is a route to secure employment. Scotland is full of old and historic buildings, some on a grand scale some simply roofs over our head, but all of which need to be maintained. I think those of us fortunate enough to have visited this display, including the pupils from local schools who have yet to choose their own career or vocational path, will have been incredibly impressed by what we saw.”

Maurice Golden MSP (top) and Ken Macintosh MSP (bottom) took part in the hands-on traditional construction skills sessions under the supervision of West college Scotland students and staff

The school pupils also took part in a guided tour of the Paisley Abbey during which they learned about the architecture and history of Paisley’s notable buildings.

Raymond Kane, Development Officer – Skills for Learning, Life and Work at the Renfrewshire Council, coordinated the participation of schools in the event and was very pleased with the outcome. He said: “Secondary schools in the Paisley area were delighted to participate in the traditional construction skills event.  It was great to see so many male and female S2 pupils enjoying themselves and developing new skills.  Hopefully this event will help these young people to make informed subject/pathway choices at this important time in their lives.”

Planned and coordinated by West College Scotland and the Renfrewshire Council – Regeneration & Economic Development Service, the event involved different organisations, including the Scottish Traditional Buildings Forum, the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), Developing the Young Workforce – West Region (DYW West), the Heritage Lottery Fund, Glasgow City Heritage Trust, Historic Environment Scotland, the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) and some local construction businesses.

All partner organisations were delighted to take part.

Renfrewshire Council Depute Leader, Cllr Jim Paterson, said: “It’s great to see so many of our young people learning about traditional building skills and having the opportunity to participate in some practical sessions through the Scottish Traditional Building Forum.

“The activity is part of our Townscape Heritage Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme 2 which is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Environment Scotland. The project celebrates the town’s unique heritage which is a key part of Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.”

Ian Hughes, CITB Partnerships Director in Scotland, said: “The Traditional Building Skills demonstration in Paisley is one of many similar events throughout the country that CITB is delighted to support through our Educational Engagement Commissioned Fund.


“It’s great to be able to work with partners such West College Scotland and Historic Environment Scotland, who are passionate about, and dedicated to, teaching and preserving the crucial skills needed to help maintain Scotland’s many beautiful and unique traditional buildings. From intricate stonework detailing to lead roofing and tile cutting, an important part of our work is to ensure that we attract and keep talented people in the construction industry who in turn, can benefit from long and successful careers using these fantastic skills. We look forward to supporting many more events as they arrive in Perth and Stirling over the next couple of months.”

Bob Davidson, Programme Director at DYW West, said: “We were delighted to be involved in the event and to help the partner organisations engage with local secondary schools.  Although the weather tried its best to hamper proceedings, the College’s apprentices and school pupils (boys and girls) all did a great job – and got into the spirit of the many hands on activities on offer. This was an excellent example of all the education partners working together with industry to host an inspiring event for young people. We look forward to working further with all the partners involved.”


Arts Centre

A series of workshops and exhibitions will take place this weekend to celebrate Paisley’s rich built heritage as part of Renfrewshire Council’s Townscape Heritage Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme 2 (TH.CARS 2).

The legendary Paisley Arts Centre will play host to a range of TH.CARS 2 activities taking place as part of Doors Open Days on Saturday 2 September 2017.

The £4 million TH.CARS 2 project, which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and Renfrewshire Council aims to make the area around the High Street a more attractive place to visit and invest while highlighting the significant role Paisley has played in the weaving and textile industry.

During Doors Open Days visitors can view work created by the STAR Project and artist Mandy McIntosh about the life and work of Paisley architect James Steel Maitland – including a short film and a publication ‘Special Concrete’. Create Paisley and local film maker Kevin Cameron will also premiere a short documentary ’Coats Tales – the Town that Coats Built’ about the architectural legacy left to Paisley by the Coats & Clarks families.

There will also be an opportunity to participate in a cognitive mapping workshop with designers Dress for the Weather and After the News where participants can think about how to mentally map their own Paisley. The Paisley TH.CARS2 team will be available throughout the day to provide information about future opportunities available through their five-year heritage and culture programme, and the grant funds available to Paisley town centre building owners.

The activities taking place not only celebrate the town’s heritage but also encourage people to get involved in a range of cultural activities. This is a key part of Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

Depute Leader of Renfrewshire Council, Cllr Jim Paterson, said: “Paisley boasts an impressive built heritage and it’s great to see this celebrated during Doors Open Days and through the TH.CARS 2 project.

“Events and activities like this will help share the town’s unique story and attract more visitors and businesses to the area.”

Michael Easson, Grants Manager at HES, said:  “The funding awarded through our CARS and Historic Environment Repair Grant to Paisley in the last few years has played a significant role in supporting investment in the City’s built environment.

“We now hope, via  Doors Open Day 2017, this can help Renfrewshire Council attract as wide an audience as possible to engage with the City’s many fine heritage attractions, now and in the months and years to come.”

The events at Paisley Arts Centre are not the only activities TH.CARS2 are delivering over the course of the Doors Open Days weekend. An Arty-Archi Sketching and Walking Tour will also take place on 2 September. Heritage expert Alison McClandish leads an architectural sketching tour of Paisley’s Oakshaw area. The tour starts and finishes outside the High St entrance of UWS.

Additionally, a traditional building skills demonstration will take place at Abbey Close on 4 and 5 September. The public will be able to see the traditional building skills and crafts which maintain Paisley’s architectural heritage in action. The project is being delivered by TH.CARS2 in partnership with West College Scotland, and with the support of the Glasgow Traditional Building Forum, Scottish Traditional Building Forum, Glasgow City Heritage Trust, National Federation of Roofing Contractors, Stone Federation GB, CITB, Paisley Abbey and Paisley Hammermen Society.

To find out more about the Paisley Townscape Heritage and Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme please visit:

To find out more about the events taking place as part of Doors Open Days please visit:

Renfrewshire’s young entrepreneurs of the future are being supported through the launch of Paisley YMCA’s  iEnterprise digital youth incubator programme.

teen business incubator at YMCA 21.8.17

The iEnterprise programme, which received funding from the Big Lottery Fund’s Young Start Fund, is a dedicated entrepreneurial space which aims to help young people furthest away from the employment market to find work or start up their own business.

The first session which recently took place saw 23 young people aged from 11 to 18 years come along to participate and learn more digital skills.

The principle behind iEnterprise is for young people to identify a need within their community, develop an idea to address that need through entrepreneurial thinking using digital technology to help develop and implement their ideas.

Over the next 40 weeks participants will be given access to software and hardware as well as training and certification to develop their ideas. They will also be encouraged to take on project management roles, set budgets, solve problems, set goals and work as a team to achieve their objective.

Darran Gillan, Youth and Community Development Manager, Paisley YMCA said: “Our aim is to support and develop young people in order to help them reach their full potential through digitally based cultural and educational projects and programmes that develop an entrepreneurial spirit.

“The £50,000 Young Start fund from the Big Lottery Scotland will support that transition for young people into the world of work over the next two years and enable them to be more attractive candidates to employers.”

In addition to equipping young people with valuable transferable skills the programme aims to improve young peoples’ digital literacy skills, further develop their problem solving and cognitive thinking abilities, gain increased confidence using digital technology in intuitive ways that makes sense to them and developing their knowledge to use technology as a problem-solving tool.

Using digital technology to help transform people’s lives by creating opportunities is a key aspect of Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director, Jean Cameron, said: “The iEnterprise programme is an excellent project which will help young people explore their creativity through digital channels. One of the main ambitions of the Paisley 2021 bid is to increase participation, raise aspirations and improve future prospects through culture and this programme looks to achieve all of these outcomes.

“The young people taking part in these sessions can use the skills they learn in a range of creative and interesting ways helping to broaden their horizons and open them up to the range of career opportunities. Projects like iEnterprise help demonstrate that culture is digital.”

During our pilot programme which took place in 2016 local young people developed wrestling, graphic design and music events businesses.

iEnterprise will be open at Paisley YMCA on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings from 5pm – 8pm for the next 40 weeks.

For more information on iEnterprise contact

For more information on Paisley 2021 please visit:

Ageing populations and the correlated increasing levels of chronic ill-health will require tomorrow – if not already today – an enhanced approach to home care. In light of this, a transnational Erasmus research project ‘Carevolution’ has been launched in February 2016 to examine the future role, responsibilities and qualifications of home care workers across Europe. Partners from Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Scotland involved in this project have stressed the need to develop a community approach where patients are more actively involved in the management of their health care.

West College Scotland played host to the project’s third meeting at the College’s Clydebank campus in October 2016

Now reaching completion, ‘Carevolution’ has led to the development of a new curriculum and qualification for enhanced home carers. West College Scotland has brought its expertise and experience to devise the training curriculum and learning material. Between February and June 2017, these were piloted in Scotland, Spain and the Netherlands.  The new curriculum has now been approved by international partners. In Scotland, the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) has approved the development of a new Professional Development Awards (PDA) in Enhanced Home Care Practice using the material produced during the project.

West College Scotland Head of Care Davina Coupar said: “The research project gave us a real insight into Home Care practice across Europe.  The College and staff have enjoyed the opportunity to participate and we’re very pleased to have been instrumental in offering a new product to our home and wider European market.”

To find out more about the project, visit and follow @carevolution_p on Twitter.

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