Economic Development case studies

Read our case studies on people, place and business


Our team work with a wide range of partners to help develop and improve our town centres and neighbourhoods across East Renfrewshire and to make them more attractive, accessible and active as set out in the Scottish Government's town centre action plan.

The project consists of the creation of an Enterprise & community hub (a public space that brings community agencies and groups together to offer a range of activities, programs and services) through the regeneration of Cowan Park Gate Lodge in Barrhead, which has fallen into disrepair and has been unused for a number of years.

The Hub will provide a space for a number of local social enterprises, community groups and other third sector partners to operate and deliver a range of services and initiatives from the local area and wider community. This includes tourism & leisure activity, skills development & training programmes for assistance into employment and  vital opportunities for community capacity building through social enterprise growth. Health and wellbeing benefits for residents and will also allow for potential future investment in the park.

The Council's Economic development team secured funding through the Scottish Government's Regeneration Capital Grant Fund together with funding from East Renfrewshire Council.

Local charity, Include Me2, will provide a wide range of services from the centre including a coffee shop which will be part of their Social blend enterprise, helping young people and adults with additional support needs, disabilities and mental health conditions into training and employment.

The images below show before and after pictures of the development.

Cowan Park - before
Cowan Park - after

The Scottish Government's Place Based Investment Programme funded £24,041 to refurbish part of the Dunterlie Community Centre as an Employability Hub.  Dunterlie is the most economically disadvantaged neighbourhood in East Renfrewshire.

The new hub will provide much needed access to ICT equipment and public wifi for local residents.  The services delivered from the hub will support people from Dunterlie and the surrounding area to build confidence and skills to be able to access employment opportunities and vocational training. The hub will bring together key agencies including Work EastRen, Dunterlie Action Group, the Corra Foundation, Skills Development Scotland, Barrhead Housing Association and Voluntary Action East Renfrewshire (Third Sector Interface) to offer a range of activities, programmes and services that will lead to transformational change in the area

The images below show before and after pictures of the development.

Dunterlie Employability Hub
Dunterlie Employability Hub - after

This project forms an important part of the wider regeneration plans for Dunterlie in Barrhead and will complement the creation of the new Employability hub at the Dunterlie Resource Centre.   The car park was in a state of disrepair and many visitors were reluctant to use it due pot holes, uneven surface and lack of lined parking bays.

These improvements will encourage more people to use the centre and will improve access to a wide range of groups who use the facility, such as Dunterlie Action Group, The Corra Foundation, Dunterlie Foodshare, the local tenant group and various youth and drama groups.

Funding was secured from the Scottish Government's Placed Based Investment programme by the Council's Economic Development team.

The images below show before and after pictures of the development.

Dunterlie Resource Centre car park - after
Dunterlie Resource Centre car park - after

Through Scottish Government's Town Centre Fund, East Renfrewshire Council's Economic Development team commissioned the design, creation/build and installation of two Inspired Gateway Entrance features for the village of Neilston.

During the design phase, the Council and the appointed artist consulted with the local community to learn about local history and find out what cultural and heritage aspects of the area could be incorporated into the designs.

Neilston was a textile town historically. It was associated with linen and calico printing following the Industrial revolution. This led to the expansion of the town and the last textile mill only closed in 1997. Agriculture has also played, and continues to play, an economic role for the area and the annual Neilston Agricultural Show is an important trading and cultural event for farmers from southwest Scotland each spring. This event became the inspiration to design the gateway entrance features, which resulted in the creation of two life size bulls made from bent steel.

Located at either end of Neilston, the two bull sculptures pay homage to the origin story of the Neilston Agricultural show, when a local dispute between two neighbours and resulting contest to determine the best prized bull grew into an annual event that has continued since the early 19th Century. The project will create two attractive sculpted features at either entrance/exits to the village and celebrate and promote the local history of Neilston

Neilston Bulls

Through Scottish Government's Place Based Investment Programme, East Renfrewshire Council's Economic Development team launched the Neilston Shop Front Improvement Scheme. This was part of wider regeneration works throughout the village which included new benches, a permanent Christmas tree, a digital notice board and the demolition of an unused toilet block.

The fund, which opened to eligible shop owners on Neilston's Main Street at the end of 2021, offered grants to support the redecoration of shop fronts to help elevate the appearance of the ground floor frontages of commercial premises. Eligible residential properties were also offered grants to support the purchase and installation of new close doors.

The Council has already approved a number of applications covering a variety of improvements including new signage, repairs to the fabric of buildings, new doors and canopies, with works due to be completed by September 2022.

The new scheme will create an attractive town centre for residents and visitors to enjoy as well helping local businesses recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Funding was secured by East Renfrewshire Council's Economic Development team from the Scottish Government's Town Centre Fund to pay tribute to football pioneer, Thomas Donohoe.

Thomas who was from the village is credited with introducing football to Brazil in 1894. Since then, it has become the national sport there, with Brazil crowned world champions a record five times.

Busby Community Council thought that it would be fitting for there to be recognition in the community to mark his achievement and raise the profile of Busby.

The Council's Economic Development team worked closely with the Busby Community Council to identify the preferred option and location which was tendered and project managed by the Council. The Sculpture was designed and created by Kate Robinson and was unveiled by Provost Mary Montague in July 2022 following a one year delay due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thomas Donohoe Sculpture

The Place Based Investment Programme funded £152,500 towards the refurbishment of the Westbourne Centre in the heart of Barrhead. The Centre provides office, retail, 3rd sector, food and beverage accommodation in a prime central location.

These works have modernised the asset, ensuring existing building users are retained and new occupants are attracted with the aim of sustaining higher property occupancy and employment levels. The refurbishment and modernisation of the common areas within the business centre provide essential office accommodation to both start up and established businesses in the town centre. The elevation in quality of the town's commercial real estate brings it more in line with modern town centre developments constructed over the last 10 years and ensures that Barrhead remains competitive and sustainable into the future.

Phillip Whiting Director of Moorgarth Group Limited said "The investment provided by the Place Based Investment Programme has modernised the Westbourne Centre providing modern business accommodation and completely rejuvenated this popular business and retail destination in the heart of Barrhead.

The images below show the centre after development.

Westbourne Centre - before
Westbourne Centre - after

The Scottish Government's Place Based Investment programme funded the initial construction stages of the Square Go Community Start-Up Space, at the Young Enterprise Scotland facility in Rouken Glen Park.

£121,000 was invested to transfer their disused yard into workshop units and outdoor collaborative space, creating a village square that nurtures business ideas and supports young people to have a "Square Go" at bringing their ideas to life. Square Go will support employability skills, practical skills, enterprise knowledge and personal development to provide transformational change and opportunities for young people. to support their goals and career ambitions.

Square Go will support 16-30 year olds, providing a route map into further education, training, employment or self-employment. It will provide: free safe and collaborative spaces; employability opportunities, links to employers, training and apprenticeships, on site career fairs with a chance to meet employers/entrepreneurs, personal development, wellbeing support and practical working space idea development opportunities

Lynn Kelly (Young Enterprise Scotland) said "The Square Go start-up village provides young people with the opportunity to develop skills, learn by doing and develop a business idea within a safe, supportive and collaborative production space. The Square Go pods will house start up entrepreneurs whilst they navigate the challenges of setting up in business. The larger delivery pods will support young people between the age of 16 and 30 attending our employability and enterprise programmes. We are delighted to be able to introduce this to within Rouken Glen Park, and will be launching in October 2022."

Yes Square go model
Yes Square go construction


Local business plays a critical role in East Renfrewshire's economy.  East Renfrewshire Council work with a wide range of partners to support businesses to access good quality business advice and support, affordable workspace, business finance and public sector procurement contracts.

Dental production was a fairly traditional business using many processes that have been around for decades. In order to boost productivity and create a better and more accurate product for a wider market, Adcal decided that 'going digital' was the best way forward.

'Going digital' meant investing in a computer and 3D printing system that could scan an impression mould of a patients mouth and produce an accurate prosthetic piece for that individual. This created a significant saving in technician time which freed up time to deal with more patients.

The biggest barrier as young company, that had already seen recent investment in new premises and staffing, was the overall cost of equipment - the equivalent cost of a small van. This was a major investment.The benefit the equipment brings to the lab however, are better quality work, increased growth for the company in new markets and increased employment.

Throughout the application process Adcal have been well supported and guided by both the Business Gateway team and East Renfrewshire's Business Growth Advisor within the Business Support team, keeping them informed at every stage of the process.


Our Work EastRen team help people aged 16 and over in East Renfrewshire improve their skills to get ready for work and find jobs. The team can help with CVs, Job applications, vocational training and access to  Modern Apprenticeships. We also provide a wide range of support and services to local businesses. This includes advertising job vacancies, matching local residents to local jobs, work experience and placements, access to employer recruitment incentives and local job fairs.

View Work EastRen case studies

Last modified on 18 November 2022

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