LEADING MSP Derek Mackay insists Paisley has got what it takes to beat the recession.
The UK economy has taken a nose dive for the second time in three years after two successive quarters of negative growth across the UK.
But figures which will confirm if the situation north of the border has also taken a plunge have yet to be released by the Scottish Government.
One of its ministers, however, says Renfrewshire is well-placed to bounce bank from this latest slump.
The Renfrewshire North and West MSP Derek Mackay – who is also the Holyrood secretary for Local Government and Planning – recently gave the keynote speech at a meeting of local business chiefs.
The event was hosted by Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce at Paisley Town Hall and saw Mr Mackay set out his plan for an economic recovery.
Speaking afterwards to the Paisley Daily Express, he said: “Renfrewshire is very much the dynamo for Scotland. It’s got what it takes to succeed.
“We are very well placed here with our infrastructure and transport links.
“There is a successful industrial and engineering sector based here and recently we have seen Steel Engineering in Renfrew announce a large apprenticeship scheme.
“We have a skilled workforce and educational establishments like the University of the West of Scotland and Reid Kerr College that will feed into that workforce.
“We also have companies that export all over the world such as Bridge of Weir Leather. So we have the potential and all the fundamentals to bounce back.”
The majority of Mr Mackay’s speech focused on how he believes Scottish independence would help local firms.
But insisting he was not “stuffing the politics down people’s throats,” he said he offered an “honest appraisal” of where our economy is and where it can do better.
“For example, if we could control things like airport duties from Scotland and make better use of assets like Glasgow Airport, we could make ourselves more competitive,” he said.
“Renfrewshire is strong when it comes to industries like whisky production and that is another area where we could focus the money coming in through duty to help the local economy where the money is raised.
“Already, we have put together funding packages to help attract business here and have also invested in infrastructure, such as improvements to the M8, M77 and rail upgrades.
“With independence, we could do even more.”