RENFREWSHIRE Council has been accused of adopting an economic focus that is “weighted towards Glasgow” at the expense of Johnstone and the villages, writes Jack Thomson

Councillor Andy Doig, who represents Johnstone North, Kilbarchan, Howwood and Lochwinnoch as an Independent, has raised concerns of a “golden economic triangle” developing, which he claims includes Paisley, Renfrew and Glasgow Airport.

The veteran politician sought guarantees from the local authority that there are plans to extend economic change to west Renfrewshire.

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At a meeting of the council's Leadership Board, he asked: “Does the administration have any significant plans to deliver positive economic change outside of the cart corridor, specifically in reference to west Renfrewshire?

“There’s a golden economic triangle developing of Paisley, Renfrew and the airport. The whole economic focus in Renfrewshire is very much weighted towards Glasgow.”

Council leader Iain Nicolson confirmed the local authority had plans for the “whole of Renfrewshire.”

The strategic business case for the Glasgow Airport Investment Area (GAIA) South Project, which looks to make better use of the White Cart corridor, had been put to the board for approval.

The case said development in the corridor is considered a “priority” if the council is to “fully capture and extend the benefits of the City Deal Investment.”

Council chiefs are already looking to buy the Chivas Brothers site in Renfrew Road, Paisley, as part of regeneration plans between Gallowhill and the White Cart River.

Bosses believe the creation of new vehicle and pedestrian routes through and around this area could help achieve other transport and regeneration objectives in Paisley.

The council also wants to link investment at the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland, based at Glasgow Airport, to the regeneration of the town centre via the Paisley north area.

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But Councillor Doig warned the board against “trickle-down economics” and called for direct investment across the whole of Renfrewshire.

Councillor Nicolson responded: “I’m happy to have that conversation with you.”

Elected members then approved the strategic business case for the GAIA South Project and agreed for an outline business case to be developed.

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