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Lease at Westway

Boeing’s Scottish R&D plans advance with Canmoor deal

John Reid

John Reid: ‘significant step’ (pic: Terry Murden)

Aerospace giant Boeing has moved a step closer to setting up a key research facility in Scotland.

The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) has signed a lease with property investment firm Canmoor for a 60,000 sq ft unit – the size of a football pitch – at Westway Park in Renfrew.

It is part of the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland and will be used mainly for an £11.8 million R&D programme with the world’s largest aerospace company.

The space will be refurbished to accommodate the personnel and equipment needed for the Boeing programme.

It will also house other advanced engineering equipment to be used in projects with other manufacturing businesses including a purpose built area dedicated to advancing the use of additive manufacturing in Scotland.

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The Boeing programme, run by the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC), will see the company establish an R&D team at the Westway facility. Boeing has hired a team to work on the programme and staff are due on site later this year.

The programme is the outcome of the University of Strathclyde and the AFRC building a successful relationship with Boeing over a number of decades, with the aerospace giant being one of the founding members of the specialist technology centre. 

It is part funded by Scottish Enterprise with a contribution of £3.5 million to Boeing for the programme.

This is one of the initial actions to come from the Boeing Scotland Alliance, which was set up in March between the two organisations to explore opportunities to work together in Scotland, with the aim of doubling Boeing’s supply chain in the country.

This could be worth tens of millions of pounds to the Scottish economy and could see 200 jobs created over five years.

Speaking about the new facility, John Reid, the new CEO of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, said: “This facility is a significant step not only in the development of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, but also in bolstering the future of manufacturing across the country post lockdown.”

Canmoor was advised by JLL and Colliers.

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