The Experience

A recently-opened indoor electric go-kart arena and themed entertainment events venue has raced to the top by winning a coveted visitor attraction accolade after only seven months.
Visit Scotland has handed a Five Star Activity Centre Award to The Experience at Hillington Park, Renfrewshire.

The Experience

Annique Armstrong, Regional Director of Visit Scotland, said: “It is rare for a business of just seven months to achieve this.
“The five star award is real testament to the team’s hard work and dedication over just a few months to reach this standard.”

The Academy restaurant, which is part of The Experience, has also been awarded a Visit Scotland Taste Our Best Award for offering a comprehensive menu of high quality, local produce.
As well as being Scotland’s only go-kart arena of its kind, The Experience also offers activities for youngsters including laser games, slot car racing, play rooms along with conference and meeting facilities.

The Experience

The awards were given to The Experience after Visit Scotland conducted two mystery visits to grade the attraction on their national quality standards.
Annique added: “We are delighted to award The Experience with five stars. The Experience offers visitors a great day out in Renfrewshire, with a variety of fun things to do for the family.

“The business has succeeded in its primary focus, which is to provide the largest number and widest range of job opportunities to young people.

“It has reached this by providing a plethora of activities for visitors including go-karting, laser experience, slot car racing and a delicious restaurant, alongside a training kitchen, flexible event space and a stage for the performing arts.

The Experience

“A high level of customer experience has been consistent across the entire operation which has heavily contributed to this business receiving five stars.

“The Experience is a great example of how a business can achieve high standards very quickly – well done to all involved.”

Lynsey McLean, general manager of The Experience said: “We are very proud to have achieved these two Visit Scotland awards after such a short time.

“It’s a testament to the hard work of all our crew here. I’m a great believer that if the staff enjoy being at their work that will reflect on the service we give our visitors when they come through the door.

“As well as the Five Star Award being very unusual for a venue that has been opened for such a short time, there also can’t be many social enterprises like ourselves who have been awarded Five Stars by Visit Scotland.”



Pic stars 1: Star attraction – some of the crew from The Experience who have won a Visit Scotland Five Star Award, from left, Gerry Brown; Lynsey McLean; mascot Volta; Declan Gallacher and Danielle Parnis.

Pic stars 2: Star turn – some of the crew from The Experience who have won a Visit Scotland Five Star Award, from left, Gerry Brown; Lynsey McLean; Nathan Cowan; Danielle Parnis and Declan Gallacher with mascot, Volta.

Pic stars 3: Shining Stars  – some of the crew from The Experience who have won a Visit Scotland Five Star Award, front row from left, Gerry Brown; Lynsey McLean; mascot Volta; Danielle Parnis and Declan Gallacher.

Machinery firm is 250th Invest in Renfrewshire sign-up

A local firm is engineering itself a brighter future after becoming the 250th company to sign up for the council-run Invest in Renfrewshire programme.

Preston Components Ltd – based in Hillington Park – will receive financial help towards the purchase of new machinery through the scheme.

The sub-contract engineering firm will also receive assistance with marketing and the creation of a new website.

Invest in Renfrewshire is a £7m programme which sees the council work with local firms to boost the local economy and support youth employment.

Since its launch last summer, companies big and small from throughout Renfrewshire have benefited from financial support, such as funding for new equipment, shopfront grants and wage subsidies.

Invest is also creating training and employment opportunities for hundreds of young people within a variety of private-sector employers and the council itself.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan paid a visit to Preston Components Ltd to congratulate them on being the 250th sign-up, and to see for himself where the funding will be going.

Councillor Macmillan said: “Boosting the local economy and creating opportunities for young people are two of the biggest priorities of this council.

“We have made a significant investment in this area, despite the challenging financial climate.

“Renfrewshire is home to a wide range of companies and we are determined to create an environment in which they can prosper.

“As Invest in Renfrewshire approaches its first anniversary, we want businesses throughout the area to see how the scheme has benefited others and to be aware of the range of packages available to them.

“I would encourage any businesses which have not already done so to get in touch with our economic development team, who will advise on the support they could offer.”

Preston Components Ltd employs 14 people and provides machining and fabrication services for a number of major local firms, including Rolls Royce, Diageo, Scottish Leather Group and Chivas.

The company was established in 1941, and has been in its current location for 25 years.

Robert Campbell, the firm’s managing director, said: “We are about to invest a six-figure sum in new computer-numerically-controlled machines as part of a major refurbishment of our factory ahead of a new contract with Rolls Royce.

“Having this help from Invest in Renfrewshire will make a huge difference to our future plans.

“The assistance we will be getting with marketing will be a huge help – this will allow us to develop our website, which we have been planning for some time.

“It will also help us take on another apprentice in the near future, which is important for the future growth of the company.”

For more information about how Invest in Renfrewshire could help your business, phone 0300 3000 144, or email

More information is available at


Hillington Park shows support to Invest In Renfrewshire

Companies based at Hillington Park have shown support for a council initiative committed to reducing youth unemployment and growing the Renfrewshire economy.

Invest in Renfrewshire held an event at Hillington Park’s Innovation Centre in November, which attracted business owners representing a variety of industries who were interested in learning how they can play their part in helping young people in the area prepare for the workplace.

Hillington_InnovationTwelve of the companies who attended on the day have since signed up to take part in the £2.5million programme offering a range of support including work placements, work place visits, staff time and graduate internships.

The delegates were very positive about working in partnership with Invest in Renfrewshire with an ultimate aim to create jobs suitable for a young person.

Invest in Renfrewshire representatives were invited to host the event by MEPC, Hillington Park’s majority owners.

“The feedback from the event has been extremely positive,” says Roz Bird, Head of Business Development at MEPC. “At MEPC we are committed to Renfrewshire and we understand that further investment will be crucial to ensure the region continues to be a major contributor to the Scottish economy. Our customers share this vision, and this was evident at the event.

“We will continue to support Invest in Renfrewshire because its work will bring great benefits to young people and assist business growth in the region. MEPC is also in the process of preparing plans for a substantial investment in Hillington Park and we will be working closely with Renfrewshire Council and our other partners to help deliver our vision.”

The Invest in Renfrewshire initiative was officially launched earlier this year and already has 163 companies and organisations signed up.

The programme includes funds for wage subsidies and apprenticeship grants as well as grants to support business growth and improving shop fronts. There is also funding available for graduate internships.
Councillor Roy Glen, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Employment and Economic Development Policy Board, said:  “The Invest in Renfrewshire programme is about growing the local economy as well as supporting young people into work and training.  It’s very encouraging to see such commitment and support from companies based at one of Renfrewshire’s economic success stories.  Tackling unemployment among young people is a key priority for Renfrewshire Council and this practical support for young people from leading companies will give a tremendous boost to their career prospects.”

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