Renfrewshire Council

Council Leader Iain Nicolson

Leader's blog: my ambitions for Renfrewshire's future

It's been a busy first few months for me in my new role as Leader of Renfrewshire Council.

Since starting, I've visited a number of local community projects and intend to take up offers and invitations to visit many more during the coming months. People are at the heart of what we do in Renfrewshire and it has been fantastic to see our local community groups and projects in action.

I have also met with senior police officers and our local MSP and visited projects, such as those in the City Deal and our public wifi scheme that will bring huge benefits to communities and businesses across Renfrewshire.

I may be new to the role of Council Leader but I have been serving the people of Erskine, Inchinnan and Renfrewshire as a councillor for 27 years and I feel privileged to have been given this opportunity.

It is a very exciting time to live, visit and work in Renfrewshire.

Bringing new job opportunities to the area and boosting the economy are top priorities for me so it was great to get the chance to visit some of the Glasgow City Region City Deal projects and see first-hand the benefits they will bring to our local communities and economy.

The announcement of a £9 million investment in a new specialist manufacturing centre at the Doosan Babcock site in Westway, Renfrew will also help pave the way for more skilled job opportunities in Renfrewshire.

It was also recently announced that Paisley had made the shortlist for UK City of Culture 2021. It is a fantastic achievement and recognition for everything that Paisley and Renfrewshire has to offer and one that gives us an opportunity to showcase the town, its rich cultural heritage and our ambitious plans for it to a national audience. We are most definitely in it to win it and the support we have received so far has been absolutely brilliant.

Paisley has unique music, culture and heritage, all of which were on show during Weave, the British Pipe Band and the Scottish Album of the Year Awards. Events like these not only celebrate our rich history and culture, they also bring our communities together and boost tourism by introducing our fantastic towns and villages to new folk across the globe.

As if that was not enough, there are also a lot of things on the horizon to look forward to.

Our Paisley town centre regeneration plans are taking shape. I was lucky enough to see recently how the works are progressing and it is clear that these plans will create a tourism and economic boost that will benefit all of Renfrewshire.

The newly-renovated Russell Institute will open its doors in the next few weeks and in September work will begin to uncover the mysteries that lie beneath Paisley Abbey.

Our state-of-the-art public wifi project will also launch in Paisley and Johnstone town centres in the autumn, with Renfrew town centre joining the network shortly afterwards.

It is a privilege to be able to lead this Council at this exciting times.