Renfrewshire Council

New centre of innovation will bring a £53.6m boost to our economy

I was delighted to open the new Tontine innovation centre which will bring a £53.6m boost to the regional economy and marks the first project to be completed as part of the Glasgow City Region City Deal.

We will see some of the brightest and most innovative young companies in Scotland based in the Tontine and the project illustrates City Deal's ambitious aims for our economy- combining a commitment to excellence with entrepreneurial drive and an absolute determination to generate jobs.

City Deal's £274m investment in infrastructure in Renfrewshire: the Airport Access Project, new Clyde Bridge and roads at Renfrew and the Glasgow Airport Investment will, undoubtedly, release this area's immense economic potential. It will attract new employers to the area and help local businesses to grow.

And our local business community is a vital part of our economic regeneration. That's why Invest in Renfrewshire works closely with 900 small and medium sized enterprises to support their growth plans, create work and training opportunities and help our economy to grow.

We also encourage new enterprises through Business Gateway and, most recently, with our business incubator, InCube. From their base in a specially renovated listed building  on Paisley High Street and a shop in Gilmour St, our first year-group of creative entrepreneurs have been developing their businesses with practical advice and support from Invest in Renfrewshire.

As this first InCube year draws to an end, we are ready to recruit another group of talented entrepreneurs ready to build successful businesses that will contribute to our longer term economic success.

There's also more good regeneration news as the council's Planning and Property Policy Board agreed to dispose of the ground lease held by the council for the site of the former Co-op supermarket in Paisley's Wellmeadow Street, paving the way for the Co-op to sell it to Sanctuary Housing Association.

Sanctuary - who already manage housing development at others sites in Paisley and Renfrew - are looking to use the site for social housing.

Many people miss having a supermarket on their doorstep but for several years the site has remained vacant even though it was on the market.

If the site were to be changed to housing, it would bring new residents into the area, and that will bring benefits to traders in the west end and town centre.

Together with the ongoing redevelopment of the former Arnotts store and the Russell Institute show real signs of progress for Paisley.