A RENFREWSHIRE scientist has been awarded the MBE for playing a key role in Britain’s battle against Covid.

Paul Fairie, of Renfrew, is head of operations at the Lighthouse Laboratory based at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QUEH), in Glasgow, where 20 million coronavirus tests have been carried out in the last 22 months.

He was responsible for the design and construction of the lab facilities and ensuring they met stringent health and safety requirements.

Paul, who celebrated with his partner Andrew John Weir after being named in the New Year Honours List, told The Gazette: “I was asked by the UK Government in March last year to establish a Covid lab for national testings and decided that the best fit was the QEUH.

“I quickly got a team together on March 23 and we then designed the existing lab to be able to process 25,000 samples daily.

“We are now in the process of ramping up to processing 150,000 tests each day.”

Paul, 46, is also head of operations for the College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences at the University of Glasgow and worked with the armed forces in setting up public testing centres.

He added: “I am not going to lie, the last 22 months have been relentless and has basically took over my life. However, I believe the contribution is worth it to try and support the national effort in beating this nasty virus.

“The MBE was a total surprise and, of course, I am delighted.”

Also receiving a royal honour is the Reverend Archibald Ford, former minister at Calder United Free Church, in Lochwinnoch, who has been awarded the British Empire Medal.

Mr Ford, who previously served as youth officer for the United Congregational Church in Botswana for 20 years, has been awarded the BEM for his services to the Lochwinnoch community.

Since his recent retirement, he has moved to Troon.

Mr Ford said: “It was a kind gesture on the part of the people of Lochwinnoch to propose me for a BEM. It is my wish to accept this gift without any fuss.”