• 18 June 2020

Construction of National Manufacturing Institute Scotland gets under way

The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) has awarded the contract for the build of its new flagship facility at the heart of the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland in Renfrewshire to Morrison Construction, part of the Galliford Try Group.

Operated by the University of Strathclyde, NMIS aims to put Scotland on the world map as a global leader in advanced manufacturing bringing industry, research and the wider public sector together to drive productivity and skills development.

The contract, worth around £42 million, was awarded after the University of Strathclyde approached the market with an Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) restricted tender process. The process saw the Scottish construction firm prove to be the most economically advantageous in terms of both cost and quality.

Morrison Construction is fully committed to achieving the aspirations of the design team, led by HLM Architects including Waterman, after the building concept was awarded BREEAM ‘outstanding’ for sustainability – the highest-accolade for sustainability in the UK construction industry.

The team, including Waterman’s civil and structural engineers, will be using innovative technologies and embracing the circular economy by using materials that have been, or can be, remanufactured and reused where possible.

There will be an avoidance of the most polluting materials such as concrete and other quarried aggregates and where possible, the use of materials that are manufactured overseas will be designed out.

At around 1.5 times the size of Hampden football pitch, the striking, world-class, facility, which is being developed next to Glasgow Airport, is set to be the linchpin for the future of manufacturing in Scotland.

It will house a fully digitalised factory of the future, skills academy and collaboration hub that will bring manufacturers together to work on the development of innovative new manufacturing technologies and products. It will support manufacturing and engineering firms of all sizes and from all sectors across the country, and internationally, to innovate and grow their businesses. NMIS is set to transform skills, productivity and innovation in Scotland by strengthening links between industry, academia and the public sector.

The build is expected to commence as soon as possible after current guidance around non-essential construction work is revised. It is expected to be completed around 18 months after build work commences.

Waterman’s Director Alun Rae said: “We are really excited that this important facility is approaching the construction phase. It has been an honour to be working as part of a proactive team with the University of Strathclyde and their partners throughout and we look forward to providing continued support during the construction phase.”

Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Like many parts of the economy, manufacturing has been adversely affected by the impact of COVID-19. But the crisis has also demonstrated why we need a strong manufacturing sector, with many companies contributing to the national effort by re-purposing or scaling-up their activity to supply vital equipment to health and social care, something NMIS has been involved in supporting. NMIS will play a central role in our efforts to build a successful, vibrant and diverse manufacturing sector for future generations. The award of this contract is a significant milestone, and I look forward to seeing how the new facility will help companies across Scotland to develop their skills, perfect the latest techniques, and push forward with cutting-edge research.”

Welcoming the contract award, Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, said: “Completing the rigorous tender process and appointing Morrison Construction to build the flagship National Manufacturing Institute Scotland facility is a highly significant step forward in the ongoing development of the NMIS group of world-class industrial research facilities. As the anchor University for NMIS, Strathclyde continues to work in close partnership with industrial, academic and public sector partners. Together we are making great strides towards creating the future of advanced manufacturing in Scotland, applying leading research capabilities to drive industrial innovation and supporting the country’s talented manufacturing and engineering sector.”

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