Nicola Sturgeon commits £8.9 million for new Lightweight Manufacturing Centre

A new £8.9 million Lightweight Manufacturing Centre is being set up at the University of Strathclyde.

Set up in the former Doosan Babcock facility in Westway, Renfrew, the centre will produce lightweight materials which are increasingly being used in the aerospace, automotive, oil and gas and renewables industries.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the £8.9m investment from the Scottish Government and said it was a ‘first step toward creating a National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland’.

Funding for the Lightweight Manufacturing Centre will consist of £3.9m from the Scottish Government, £3.4m from Scottish Enterprise and £1.6m from the Advanced Forming Research Centre.

First Minister Sturgeon announced the investment at Strathcylde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre at Inchinnan, which will run the new centre. The University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre is a globally-recognised centre of excellence in innovative manufacturing technologies, R&D, and metal forming and forging research. The £60 million facility was established in 2009 with 12 members of staff. It now employs 133 highly skilled engineers, researchers and business professionals.

The National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland is being developed by the Scottish Government and Strathclyde University, in association with the Scottish Research Partnership in Engineering, Enterprise agencies, Skills Development Scotland, the Scottish Funding Council and the private sector.

Speaking to an audience of 75 companies at the AFRC, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “A vibrant and innovative manufacturing base is critical to Scotland’s economic success and to creating skilled employment opportunities for the future.

“The Lightweight Manufacturing Centre will help Scottish businesses take advantage of the fact that sectors such as aerospace and the automotive industry are making more and more use of lightweight materials. It will deliver cutting edge research and development projects with and for companies in Scotland.”

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